Service Provided by:
At Home Dental

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Service Provided by:
At Home Dental

Toothbrushing at Home

Toothbrushing is an essential life skill and can be a fun part of your child’s daily routine. By brushing teeth daily, the film of bacteria coating teeth (plaque) is removed and this helps to prevent tooth decay

Children should be supervised whilst brushing their teeth until around 7 years of age but should be encouraged to do most of the brushing themselves. Establishing a regular toothbrushing routine is key. Praising your child will help to keep them motivated and encouraged.

Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth, until around 7 years of age

Choosing a Toothbrush

Use a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. This can be either manual or electric.

Dentists recommend replacing the toothbrush head every 3 months, as the bristles become frayed and worn with use which reduces the cleaning effectiveness of the toothbrush.

If the bristles, go flat within a few weeks then that is a sign your child may be brushing too hard.

Toothpaste

Choosing Toothpaste

For children under 3 years of age, use a toothpaste containing at least 1,000 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.
For children over three, use a toothpaste containing at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) flouride.

The fluoride inside toothpaste has several advantages. It helps to create stronger enamel when teeth are forming. In addition to this, it stops teeth from demineralising (first stage of decay) and helps teeth to remineralise (go back to normal strength).

Children who experience sensory differences may prefer flavourless toothpaste and toothpaste with a different flavour to mint. Non-foaming toothpastes are also available. If you do choose these, make sure that they have the correct amount of fluoride in which is suitable for your child’s age.

Remember, never leave a baby or small child alone with a toothbrush or toothpaste.

How much toothpaste to use

For children under three, just a smear of toothpaste on the brush is enough. For children over three years old, a pea-sized amount on the brush is enough.

Brushing Teeth

When to brush?

Brush teeth and gums at least twice daily, in the morning and last thing at night.

It is preferable to wait at least 30 minutes following eating or drinking before brushing, however, we know this is not always possible. In any case, brushing your teeth is always better than not brushing.

How to Brush

Good technique is mostly about placing the toothbrush and its bristles in the right place. It is not about how hard you brush but how effective your technique is. Brushing should always last at least 2 minutes.

Encouraging your child to clean their teeth for the right amount of time is a lot easier if you make the experience more enjoyable for them. Games, reward charts and songs are a great place to start.

Brushing doesn’t have to be a chore for your child. There are lots of exciting toothbrushes available, including tv-show-themed toothbrushes and toothbrushes that play music.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to achieve a good toothbrushing technique:

After brushing, encourage your child to spit out excess toothpaste and discourage them from rinsing their mouth with water. This will give the fluoride more time to work and will help protect their teeth for longer.

Step 1. Outside

Brush the outside surface of each tooth using small circular motions. Make sure to point the brush towards the gums at a 45-degree angle.

Step 2. Inside

Brush the inside surface of each tooth using the same circular motions. Don’t forget to brush close to the gums!

Step 3. To The Back

Brush the tops of the back teeth on the biting surfaces, using a forward and backward motion.

Step 4. To The Front

Tilt the toothbrush vertically to brush behind each front tooth using small up and down strokes. Remember to brush both the top and bottom teeth!

Step 5. Tongue

Don’t forget to brush the tongue. Lots of germs and bacteria hide here!

Remember spit, don’t rinse after brushing!

Additional toothbrushing supplies

Another helpful tool to support your child’s toothbrushing journey are disclosing tablets. You might remember disclosing tablets from when you were a child – they’re small tablets that stain your teeth blue where you haven’t brushed them enough. We recommend disclosing tables because kids love seeing their teeth turn blue and it’s an effective way to show children where they need to brush better. This is only recommended for children old enough to understand not to swallow the disclosing solution.

Where to next?

Contact Toothbrushing at Home

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