As one of the top San Diego pediatric dental offices of The Super Dentists, we make sure that our patients and their families understand the importance of maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. Having a clean, healthy smile starts with regular brushing and flossing at home. We help our Super Patients™ understand how to brush and floss their teeth in order to remove food particles that can accumulate on the teeth, which eventually turn into plaque. The bacteria that result from this accumulation can cause serious conditions like tooth decay, gum disease and even loss of teeth later in life. Frequent brushing and flossing helps avoid these unhealthy results and subsequent costly treatments in the long run. Read below for proper instructions from our specialist in pediatric dentist Dr. Nazli Keri, the best in San Diego County as voted by locals, on how to brush and floss, when to start and what to use.
How to Brush Your Teeth Sing-along Song
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When to Start Brushing
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that before the age of 3, parents should clean their child’s teeth with water and soft-bristled toothbrush at least once a day at bedtime. After age 3, your child should use a toothbrush with soft bristles and only a small “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste. At this stage, parents should supervise brushing and make sure children do not swallow any excess toothpaste.
How to Brush
When you brushing your child’s teeth, or when they brush them after age 3, follow these simple steps for the most optimal results:
- Brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under the gum line
- Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully
- Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth
- Brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of the teeth
- Brush the tongue and the roof of the mouth
- Rinse the mouth thoroughly with water
When to Brush
In order to avoid the accumulation of food particles on the teeth, you should spend several minutes thoroughly brushing the teeth at the following times:
- In the morning after breakfast
- After lunch or right after school
- After dinner
- At bedtime
As soon as the bristles on your toothbrush start to fray or wear down, replace your child’s toothbrush with a new one.
Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean the hard-to-reach spaces between the teeth effectively. Dental floss, a thin thread of waxed nylon, helps clean hidden tooth surfaces and in conjunction with brushing reduces the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay.
For effective flossing, follow these easy steps:
- Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser
- Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers
- Guide the floss between all of the teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque
- Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from the beginning to the end when you finish
- Floss behind all of your back teeth
The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day at night in order to have a clean mouth at bedtime. Gum bleeding is common when a child begins flossing. If it persists after the first few times, let one of our Super Dentists team member know at your next appointment with us.
If you have any further questions about brushing or flossing your child’s teeth, feel free to contact one of our San Diego County top pediatric dental offices. With three convenient locations to better serve you, The Super Dentists offers the best in pediatric dental care in a fun, safe and professional environment!