A child’s mouth significantly differs from an adult’s mouth. For this reason, kids need to use brushes designed specifically for children. Both adults and children should use brushes with soft, rounded bristles for gentle cleaning and change to a new brush about every three months or sooner if there has been an illness.
For infants, wipe teeth with a moist, soft cloth. As babies grow, use a child’s toothbrush with a small pea-sized dab of toothpaste, preferably non-fluoridated until they can spit well. By age 2 or sooner you should begin to teach your child to brush. You will still need to follow up their efforts with a through brushing until they have developed the dexterity to brush independently, around the age of 9. Dentists and hygienists often advise children to use a gentle, short, small circular motion to remove plaque.
- Hold the brush at an angle (45 degrees) towards teeth and gums. Move brush back and forth with short strokes, about a half tooth wide.
- Brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth, top and bottom.
- Hold the brush flat on top of the teeth and brush the chewing surfaces.
- Gently brush the tongue to remove debris.
- Floss between teeth daily.