Reviewed by Dr. Alan Baughman, DMD, MBA
In the case of your child’s oral health, every minute counts! We’ve all been there, trying to get our little ones to brush their teeth for more than just a few fleeting seconds.
But how long should they be scrubbing those pearly whites? Read on to get the lowdown on how to achieve a superstar sparkle for your little one’s smile.
Table of Contents
- The Basics of Teeth Brushing for Kids
- How Long Should Kids Brush Their Teeth?
- Tips for Getting Kids to Brush Their Teeth
- Kids Dentist in Greeley, CO
- Teeth Brushing FAQ
Teach your child good oral hygiene habits from an early age. The American Dental Association recommends children brush their teeth for two minutes twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Incorporate fun and engaging strategies, like music and reward charts, to help motivate your child to develop lifelong habits.
The Basics of Teeth Brushing for Kids
Start teaching oral hygiene practices early so they become second nature to your child.
- Start cleaning your baby’s mouth even before their teeth come in. Use a clean gauze pad or soft cloth over your finger, dampened with water (not soaking wet). Gently wipe their gums and any emerging teeth.
- Switch to a small, soft toothbrush once their first tooth comes in. Position the bristles at an angle along the gum line and brush in gentle circular motions. Avoid brushing back and forth, as this can harm the gums and teeth. Remember to brush all sides of the teeth.
- Dentists recommend that children start using fluoride or hydroxyapatite toothpaste as soon as their first tooth comes in. Both of these options work to protect and strengthen the teeth. Use a tiny amount, like a grain of rice, for children under three. For children three and older, use a pea-sized amount. Young children should be supervised to make sure they spit out the toothpaste.
- Finish the brushing routine by gently brushing your child’s tongue with the toothbrush. Engage them by letting them watch you brush your teeth first so they can learn from you.
Teach your child to brush their own teeth around the age of two. You should supervise your child’s brushing until they can properly clean their teeth unsupervised and not just play with bubbles.
Learn more about how to build a strong foundation of oral hygiene in our blog, Caring for Your Child’s Dental Health: A Parent’s Guide.
How Long Should Kids Brush Their Teeth?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children brush their teeth for two minutes, at least twice daily – once in the morning after breakfast and once before bedtime.
Factors that may affect brushing time include your child’s age, manual dexterity, and individual oral health needs.
Tips for Getting Kids to Brush Their Teeth
Every child is different, and some may need a little more encouragement to brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. Here are some fun ideas you can try:
- Play a song or video that lasts about two minutes, and have your child brush along with it. Make up a brushing song or use one of the many available on YouTube.
- Use an hourglass timer or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer.
- Create a reward chart and let your child place a sticker for every successful two-minute brushing session.
- Use a kid’s teeth brushing app. They are fun and interactive, helping children develop better brushing habits. These apps often include timers, games, and animations to engage kids while brushing.
- Let your child pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste with their favorite cartoon character or color.
- Make it a family affair by having everyone in the household brush their teeth together. Kids love to mimic their parents!
Kids Dentist in Greeley, CO
Every child is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find the right techniques for your little one. Stay patient and make brushing a positive experience. With proper brushing habits and regular dental check-ups, you can help your child maintain a healthy smile for years. Happy brushing! 🦷
At Clearwater Dentistry, we are dedicated to helping you and your child achieve excellent oral health. Our comprehensive dental services cater to the needs of your entire family. During regular check-ups and cleanings, we prioritize patient education to foster good dental habits in your child. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Baughman, is here to provide top-notch care and support for your family’s oral well-being.
Contact Clearwater Dentistry, your trusted family dentist in Greeley, CO. Call (970) 515-3550 to learn more about our kid-friendly dental services.
Teeth Brushing FAQ
A child can begin brushing their teeth with supervision around the age of two. Parents should continue to monitor and assist until the child is able to brush correctly without supervision.
Gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or soft cloth after each feeding, even before their first tooth comes in. Doing this helps keep their mouth clean and get them used to having their teeth cleaned.
Yes, fluoride toothpaste is safe for kids when used in the recommended amounts. Children under three years old should use a tiny amount (about the size of a grain of rice), and children three years and older can use a pea-sized amount. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.
If you are searching for a ‘kids dentist near me,’ contact Clearwater Dentistry.