Decay

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To avoid plaque build up it is important to thoroughly clean your child’s teeth and gums at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste.  brushing.jpg

For children under 6 years old, a Children’s toothpaste (with a reduced fluoride content) should be smeared onto the tooth brush.  Have your child spit and NO rinsing after, so a little fluoridated toothpaste helps to strengthen the enamel surface of teeth.

Remember, each tooth has five surfaces - a front, a back, two sides and a top.  The only sure way to prevent dental disease is to clean every surface. It is helpful to use disclosing solution to show areas where plaque is being missed. 

Until 8 years old

We recommend parents help brush teeth for children until they are 8 years old. Up until this age children do not have the manual dexterity to effectively remove all plaque.  They should have a turn at brushing first and then have mum or dad finish off the brushing.

Looking into the mirror
It is easier to brush your child’s teeth sitting or standing from behind looking into the bathroom mirror.  This way the motions of tooth brushing are similar to that in your own mouth. Alternatively you can have your child lying on your lap so their head is supported and then brush their teeth.

For the littlest ones
For very young children, lying them down with their head in your lap gives better access and vision to brushing, as well as keeping their head stable.
Use a soft bristled toothbrush with a small head.  Lift the lip and angle the bristles towards the gums (at 45 degrees) and jiggle the toothbrush back and forward while moving down the tooth surface. Flicks and circles are less effective in removing plaque.

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Electric toothbrushes are ok
Electric or battery powered toothbrushes may also be used.  Some children find these a novelty. Again parents should help with brushing and keep the toothbrush on each tooth surface for 5 seconds. A general guide to the time length of brushing is 2 minutes.  This could be timed with a watch or even an egg timer.

 


© Kidz Teeth | Specialist Paediatric Dentists - Auckland, New Zealand