Mummy, why should I brush my teeth?

Good oral hygiene starts right at the beginning, because when it comes to looking after your teeth, good habits are lifelong habits.

Which toothbrush?

When you browse the supermarket aisle, you’ll notice one thing – there are so many toothbrushes! But it’s crucial to get the right one for your child.

• Babies: Even before they have teeth, the gentlest of small-headed, soft-bristled toothbrushes can be used.

• Two years: A toddler toothbrush is small, soft and easy to hold in order to encourage children to have a go. But parents should still be making sure teeth are being cleaned properly.

• Five to eight years: By this age, children can start brushing alone (with supervision), but it’s important that the brush is size-appropriate. Also, cool shapes, colours and novelties will encourage children to enjoy their brushing, but follow the age guidelines on the box.

• Eight and up: Kids should be brushing independently by now, with brushes similar to those used by adults but still slightly smaller with appropriate grips.

Once a brush is visibly frayed, or after three or four months, it’s time for a new one.

What toothpaste?

Like brushes, there is so much on the market that choosing the right one can be daunting. But there are differences between adult and kids’ toothpaste.

Kids toothpaste still contains all-important fluoride, but probably in smaller in amounts while the overall recipe is less harmful if accidentally swallowed. Children’s toothpaste can also taste less harsh, and they are usually in the form of a gel which is better for young enamel.

How to brush?

If you tell your child to brush in any way they like, you’ll quickly understand why good technique is crucial. That’s because children need to understand WHY brushing their teeth is so important, for removing plaque, having nice breath and getting rid of bacteria that causes cavities.

• Short strokes: Teach your children to brush with short strokes in a back and forth motion, starting at the gumline.

• 45-degree angle: Help your children to understand that each and every tooth, from the front to the very back, top and the bottom, front and also the back, needs the same care and attention.

• Be patient. Children (and adults!) need to understand that brushing takes at least two minutes, and brushing faster and harder is no substitute for taking your time and being thorough.


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(02) 4868 1933

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