When it comes to brushing and flossing for kids, both tasks require good manual dexterity, or in other words, good control of the tooth brush and floss; something most kids do not develop until around age eight. It is important for an adult to brush a child's teeth twice a day to ensure the removal of plaque to prevent tooth decay. Until the age of eight, children should be supervised while brushing. Brushing should last for at least two minutes. But in the case of children, it will generally require a bit more time and patience for the person helping the child.
- Start by using a soft bristled toothbrush with a pea sized amount of toothpaste. Choose a toothpaste that is appropriate for the age of the child. Avoid using toothpaste that contains fluoride until the child is able to consciously avoid swallowing it to prevent fluorosis.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle with the bristles pointed in the direction of the gumline.
- Gently brush the teeth with a circular motion. Brush the outside surface , inside surface , and biting surface of the teeth.
Flossing a child's teeth is often easy because they have fairly large spaces between them. Some children however, do have tight spaces, and require daily flossing to prevent tooth decay between the teeth. Consider using a flossing aide, they are easily used between the teeth, cleaning gently and effectively and allow the child to attempt to floss on their own.