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Brushing & Flossing Instructions

Get Brushing & Flossing Best Practices and Instructions

A child will need both help and supervision in this area of their lives until they can do a thorough job.  Our dental hygienists suggest a parent assist in brushing until the child is 7, can tie their shoes in a double knot, & write in cursive.  One of the first tools you’ll require when assisting your child in brushing and flossing their teeth is the right size of a toothbrush. Choose a soft toothbrush with a smaller head for little children. Wet down the toothbrush, and then apply a small amount of toothpaste to the brush.

A manual toothbrush is usually sufficient but using an electric toothbrush can keep the tooth brushing process both interesting and useful.

Be sure to brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day.  Brush the child’s teeth with a circular motion. Don’t forget to brush your child’s teeth with a fluoride toothpaste.  In guidance with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, we suggest using a fluoride containing and not a training toothpaste once the first tooth erupts.  Fluoride works best if allowed to stay on the teeth so it is important to not rinse with water after brushing. Your child should get a new toothbrush every three months. 

Flossing your child’s teeth keeps the debris from creating bacteria in between your child’s teeth. You’ll most likely need to supervise the teeth flossing process for some time to make sure it is done correctly.   String floss is the best but floss holders can be more easily handled by children. Floss gently under the gums and around the teeth once daily preferably at night.

Dr. Criss suggest children use a fluoride containing mouthrinse or mouthwash to complete the brushing & flossing routine.  Mouthrinse with fluoride should be started when the child is able to spit without swallowing the rinse, which can be as early as age 3.   Fluoride works best if allowed to stay on the teeth so it is important to not rinse with water for 30 minutes after using a mouthrinse.