Children should brush twice daily-after breakfast and before bedtime. To reduce the swallowing of toothpaste, rub a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste into the toothbrush, and teach your child to spit out as much toothpaste as possible after brushing. You should aim for two minutes of brushing both morning and evening.
Choosing sweet flavored toothpastes may encourage very young children to swallow. To limit this temptation, select a toothpaste such as Colgate® Total. It minimizes the chances of your child wanting to swallow, while also providing triclosan with additional antibacterial, anti-tartar, and gum health advantages.
Because young children have not developed the manual dexterity necessary to adequately brush their teeth, they should be supervised until you have determined that they can properly reach all areas and brush without swallowing. For most children, this occurs around the ages of seven or eight. Teach children proper technique by brushing your teeth at the same time so they can observe a demonstration.
Though manual toothbrushes work adequately, electric toothbrushes often add an element of fun that may pique your child’s interest.
Once the teeth begin to touch, it is time to begin flossing because food can become trapped between the teeth and lead to the formation of cavities. Flossing usually becomes necessary around 3-4 years of age.
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