Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles: Brushing Your Child`s Teeth

Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles: Brushing Your Child`s Teeth
Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles
B
Brushing
Your Child’s Teeth
rushing is one of the main ways
you can keep your child’s teeth
healthy. You should brush your
child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste
twice each day to help prevent tooth
decay (cavities). Begin brushing as soon
as your child’s first tooth begins to show.
School readiness begins with health!
Tips for brushing your child’s teeth:
Brush your child’s teeth after breakfast and
before bed.
Use a child-sized toothbrush with soft
bristles and fluoride toothpaste.
For children under age 3, use a small
smear of fluoride toothpaste.
For children ages 3 to 6, use fluoride
toothpaste the size of a pea.
Young children like to do things by
themselves. It’s good to let children brush
their teeth while an adult watches. But
children under age 7 or 8 cannot brush
their teeth well yet. An adult needs to
brush the child’s teeth too.
Find a position where your child is
comfortable and you can see your child’s
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teeth while you brush. For example, sit on
the floor with your baby’s or young child’s
head in your lap. Or stand behind your
child in front of the mirror.
Gently brush your child’s teeth using small
circles. Brush all surfaces of the teeth,
including the insides and outsides.
After brushing, have your child spit out the
remaining toothpaste but not rinse. The
small amount of toothpaste that stays in
your child’s mouth is good for the teeth.
If you are having trouble brushing your
child’s teeth, use a timer, a counting game,
or a song while brushing. You can also ask
the staff at your child’s dental clinic for
help.
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Use a smear for children under age 3.
Use a pea-size amount for children ages 3 to 6.
This handout was prepared by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness under cooperative agreement #9OHC0013 for the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start.
National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness. 2016. Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles: Brushing Your Child’s Teeth. Elk Grove Village, IL: National Center
on Early Childhood Health and Wellness.
Photo requiring credit: http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Toddler’s-Teeth (front page, top)
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