That’s how long and how many times your kids should brush: Two minutes. Twice a day!
2min2x.org has videos to help your child brush the recommended 2 minutes each time – it can be fun to play the video for your kids to watch while brushing to get them started with this healthy habit. Remember to use a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance while brushing.
The benefits of brushing for 2 minutes:
- Clean teeth
- Healthy gums
- Nice breath
- Brushing routine established
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends that parents supervise their child’s brushing until age 8. We agree! Dr. Elizabeth says, “Until around age 8, when children start to have the fine motor control to very neatly write their name, parents need to be supervising their child’s brushing because the fine motor skills are not developed enough to do a complete job. Many parents find it helpful to let their child have a turn brushing, and then they also take a turn.”
Beginning with the eruption of the first tooth, parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. The amount of toothpaste? A grain of rice. A baby or toddler should never use fluoride toothpaste unsupervised or independently.
After children can consistently spit effectively, they can upgrade to a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. Spitting is important to minimize swallowing toothpaste.
Supervising your kids’ brushing gives you an opportunity to teach them how to brush.
- Teach your kids to brush at an angle against their gums.
- Teach them to move the brush in gentle, short strokes back and forth.
- Teach them to brush the front, back of teeth, and the tops of molars.
- Teach them to brush their tongue or use a scraper to remove germs and keep breath fresh.
It is also important to floss at least once a day, to clean in between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. Traditional floss or children’s “flossers” both do a great job. Parents should start flossing their child’s teeth as soon as they notice that teeth are touching – which could be as early as two years of age in some children.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.