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  • Tooth Brushing and Flossing

    Proper toothbrushing and flossing can prevent early childhood tooth decay and gum disease and maintain proper dental health. When a child’s 1st tooth comes in, a soft, damp clothtooth brushing should be used to clean the mouth at least twice a day. As your child gets more teeth, a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride-free toothpaste may be used to clean teeth. Once your child can spit out the toothpaste, fluoride toothpaste should be used. By age 2 or 3, you can begin to teach your child how to brush. When children are 7 to 8 years old, they can generally brush on their own. Flossing can be a difficult skill for kids to master, and children under age 9 need assistance.

    Toothbrushing and Flossing Guidelines:

    Whether you are assisting your child, or they are brushing and flossing on their own, the following techniques will result in a clean and healthy mouth:
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    • Use a child-size, soft, round bristled toothbrush for gentle, thorough cleaning
    • Hold the brush at a 45° angle towards teeth a gums and brush back and forth using short strokes, about half a tooth wide.
    • Brush the inside and outside surfaces of each tooth
    • Clean the chewing surface of each tooth by holding the brush flat on top of teeth and using short strokes
    • Gently brush the tongue to remove bacteria and debris
    • Floss between teeth every day

    Suggestions for making toothbrushing less of a battle:

    • Let your child pick a fun character themed toothbrush to use
    • Use a fun, flavored toothpaste
    • Have multiple toothbrushes for your child. This will allow your child to pick which one to use each time and will give him/her a sense of control
    • Make it a family event, have everyone brush at the same time
    • Let your child brush your teeth
    • Read fun books about toothbrushing to your child
    • Let your child eat or drink something that will “stain” his/her teeth and let him/her brush them clean
    • Use a toothbrushing chart to help establish a routine
    • Use child-friendly flossing aids
    • Show your joyful approval of your child’s sparkly clean teeth

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    In addition to regular toothbrushing and flossing, regular dental visits are necessary to ensure your child’s dental health. To supplement your child’s at-home care, Burg Children’s Dentistry has professional pediatric dentists and a fun atmosphere. Make an appointment today!