Dental Care & Cavity Protection

Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques for Kids

Using a soft bristle brush, begin daily brushing as soon as the child’s first tooth erupts. The ADA recommends using a smear of fluoridated toothpaste when brushing your child's teeth as soon as children's teeth begin to come into the mouth. A pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should then be used for ages 3 to 6 years old.

ADA's advice on Fluoride Toothpaste for Children ADA's advice on Fluoride Toothpaste for Children

By age 4 or 5, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day with adult supervision. Supervision should continue until about age eight to make sure they are doing a thorough job. However, each child is different and your dentist can help you determine whether the child has the skill level to brush properly.

Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of teeth. When teaching children to brush, place toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and start along the gum line in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch. You should floss the child’s teeth until he or she can do it alone without bruising the gum tissue. Use about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around the middle fingers of both hands. Hold the floss lightly between the thumbs and forefingers. Use a gentle, back-and-forth motion to guide the floss between the teeth. Curve the floss into a C-shape and slide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance. Gently scrape the floss against the side of the tooth. Repeat this procedure on each tooth. Don’t forget the backs of the last four teeth!

Tips for Preventing Cavities in Children

Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the left over food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauze or clean washcloth to gently wipe the plaque and formula from teeth and gums after each feeding. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water.

For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children. Your pediatric dentist may also recommend protective sealants or home fluoride treatments for your child. Sealants can be applied to your child’s molars to prevent decay on hard to clean surfaces

Back to Pediatric Dental Healthcare Dental Care Page
Home   •   Dental Care   •   Orthodontics   •   About Us   •   FAQ's   •   Contact Us   •   Emergencies

Pediatric Dental Healthcare
Specialists in Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Braces for Kids  •
16 Washington Street (Rt. 1)  •  Plainville, MA 02762  •  508-695-2064

Pediatric Dental Healthcare's Privacy Statement
PDH Staff Login            Employee Website
Admin Login