Dental Tips Blog


My Child Won’t Let Me Brush Her Teeth!

You don’t always have the time or energy to fight back when your child pitches a fit over an everyday task like tooth brushing. But oral hygiene is vital to overall health for kids as well as adults.

Tooth brushing prevents bacterial buildup that causes gingivitis and cavities. You know your child needs to have her teeth brushed every day, but it’s a real challenge when she resists.

What can you do? The following tips may help.

Make brushing a fun family affair.

Your child may take up an interest in brushing when she sees that you and others in the family are having fun.

Stir up a little friendly competition and challenge each other to see who can make the most toothpaste bubbles. Let your child brush your teeth in return for letting you brush hers. Play some music, do a dance – just make it so lively that she won’t be able to resist!

Set up role models.

Praise older siblings for obediently brushing in the presence of the more resistant child. At sleepovers, make sure she sees that even Grandma and the cousins have to brush. Look up kids’ books and cartoons featuring a well-loved character who obediently brush their teeth.

Let her choose her own brush and toothpaste.

Give your child some autonomy when it comes to selecting oral hygiene products. A toothbrush with her favorite cartoon characters, the bubblegum- or fruity-flavored kids’ toothpaste she likes, or a bright-colored rinse your dentist recommends. The more involved your kid is, the more likely she’ll take her responsibility to brush seriously. 

Get more fun and creative tips for brushing kids’ teeth from your family or pediatric dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224



Child-Friendly Toothbrushes

How do you make sure that your child has a healthy smile that will last them for years to come? One way is by getting them started off with the right kind of toothbrush.

Why Kids Don’t Like Brushing

Some children do just fine with remembering to brush their teeth. Or at least, they cooperate with mom or dad’s efforts to help. Others are more resistant because it makes them gag or simply because they’re bored.

It’s important to make kids feel comfortable and engaged in such an important activity as tooth-brushing.

Here’s are some things you can do to help:

Choose a Fun Toothbrush

Get your child involved in picking out a toothbrush he or she will actually use. Kids’ brushes come in a variety of colors and designs with familiar cartoon characters printed on them. Some have lights, songs, and other bells and whistles that make brushing a fun job.

Switch Out the Brush Regularly

For a healthy smile and body, your child needs a new toothbrush every few months. Old brushes harbor germs from previous infections. They might even pick up some icky debris from the bathroom. Pick out a new toothbrush at each dental visit. Or as mentioned before, bring your kid along to help shop for a new one.

Go for the Small Brush Head

When it comes to kids’ mouths, the smaller the toothbrush head, the better. This will make it easier to maneuver around all those tiny teeth for maximum plaque-removal with minimal gagging.

For more tips on safe and effective brushing, talk with your children’s dentist or dental hygienist. They can show you a few tricks to mage age-appropriate brushing easier than ever.

Posted on behalf of:
Spanaway Family Dentistry
20709 Mountain Hwy E #101
Spanaway, WA 98387
(253) 948-0880


Toothpaste Safety for Kids

“Call Poison Control if more than is used for brushing is swallowed.”

What should you know about toothpaste to keep your child’s smile and body healthy?

What’s the Risk?

Fluoride in high concentrations can adversely affect tooth enamel. Too much of it at once can cause stomach problems such as vomiting. Like other minerals, it does have the potential to be toxic if too much is ingested at once.

The small bodies of kids don’t need much fluoride to feel the effects. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to how much children are exposed to.

Kid-Friendly Toothpastes

Adult toothpastes contain the proper amount of fluoride to keep teeth strong. But that amount could be too much for a little body and a mouth that has trouble spitting out the toothpaste.

Until your child has mastered the habit of spitting after brushing, give them fluoride-free “training toothpaste.” This way, there won’t be any risk of them getting sick from swallowing too much of it.

If Toothpaste is Swallowed

Don’t panic! First of all, try to determine how much was actually eaten. If it seems more than a pea-sized amount (that’s all that’s needed for brushing!) was swallowed, then call Poison Control. A calcium-rich snack is often recommended to bind the fluoride in the tummy. A one-time incident should not affect your child’s tooth development.

Toothpaste is relatively harmless, but it should be treated like any other medicine or vitamin. Keep it out of the kiddos’ reach and strictly monitor how much they use when brushing.

Schedule a visit to your local dental office for more advice. Fluoride is essential for tooth health, so introduce fluoride toothpaste as soon as your dentist feels your child is ready.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690


When Can My Child Brush His Own Teeth?

It’s a good idea to establish good oral hygiene habits from the very beginning.  When your child is an infant, even before the first tooth appears, start brushing the gums with a soft toothbrush and lukewarm tap water.  As your child grows into the preschool years, he may want to do it himself, but he doesn’t yet have the ability to do a thorough enough job. At this age, you can allow him to brush his teeth and then follow up behind him to insure that the job is done adequately.  At what age, though, can your child take over the job of brushing?

Solo Toothbrushing

Independent brushing is a matter of being developmentally capable of brushing and being responsible enough to brush the teeth thoroughly. Each child is different, but for many that stage is between 6 and 11 years of age.  If your child has the coordination to tie his own shoes, then perhaps he’s ready to start brushing on his own. Just remember, when your child first begins to brush his teeth on his own, he’ll need active adult supervision to insure that the job is done completely.

Proper Oral Care

When your child begins to brush his teeth on his own, it’s important to review proper oral health care techniques with your child.  Teeth should be gently brushed in a circular motion, cleaning the outside surfaces of the teeth, the inside surfaces of the teeth, the chewing surfaces of the teeth and the portion of the gum that meets the teeth. Plus, be sure to use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. A good length of time to brush is two minutes.  Remember to floss at least once a day, to clean between!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Azin Pediatric Dentistry
387 E main St. #105
Ba Shore, NY 11706
(631) 894-4662


5 Ways to Help Your Child Brush Better

It is very important to start early when it comes to learning good dental hygiene habits.  One of the important techniques is learning how to brush your teeth.  Parents can help their children learn the proper brushing techniques by:

  1. Watch your child as he/she brushes their teeth.  Parents should be proactive with reminding their children to brush their teeth after breakfast and before bed.  When your child is brushing his/her teeth, watch closely to ensure they are brushing the front, back and top surfaces of all teeth.
  2. Use disclosing tablets.  Disclosing tablets can be purchased at most drug stores.  Your child can chew a disclosing tablet and then spit out their residual saliva.  All of the areas with biofilm (plaque) will be colored (usually red).  This will help guide your child to see the areas that need to be brushed.
  3. Set a timer for two minutes every time they brush.  If you set a timer for two minutes each time your child brushes their teeth, that will help ensure that they are brushing their teeth the appropriate amount of time.
  4. Guide them in areas that they miss.  Once your child is done brushing their teeth, check their teeth (especially if they used disclosing tablets) to see if there are any areas that they missed.  If there are missed areas, gently guide them with their toothbrush to re-visit those missed areas.
  5. Reinforce good brushing techniques.  When your child has mastered their brushing technique and has removed dental biofilm effectively, reinforce them with verbal praise, a hug, or a pat on the back.  

Until your child is able to tie their own shoes, remember to help them brush and floss. Don’t forget to schedule a check-up every 6 months to pinpoint any underlying problems before they have the chance to turn into something bigger!

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339


How Old Should My Child Be Before Brushing on Their Own?

You have probably heard fellow parents talk about how their children have brushed their teeth on their own since they were a toddler.  Are their children really brushing their teeth efficiently and effectively?  Are they really old enough to be trusted to brush their teeth on their own? 

Growing Into Independent Oral Health Care

Every child develops differently, at different times.  Some children have the manual dexterity to brush on the front, back, and biting surfaces of their teeth earlier than others.  While there really is no “magical” age for a child to begin brushing on their own, a good time frame to start trying is between the ages of 6 and 9 years old.  About the time they can tie their shoes on their own.

Always Follow-Up Behind Them

It is very important for parents to learn brushing and flossing instructions from a dental hygienist.  Parents can then teach their children how to brush their teeth and supervise them as they learn how to brush on their own.  While supervising, parents can ensure that their children are gently brushing all of the tooth surfaces that can be reached by a toothbrush.

Daily brushing is a part of good dental hygiene but brushing only reaches most of the tooth surfaces.  Along with brushing each day, parents should also be flossing their children’s teeth to help remove the bacterial biofilm that is located between the teeth which is located on surfaces that a toothbrush can’t reach.

When parents floss their children’s teeth, they are helping to fight gum disease and cavities between the teeth.  Parental supervision is required until the child displays the proper brushing and flossing techniques on their own.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339


When Should My Child Start Brushing on His or Her Own?

You want your child to have healthy teeth, but you also want to encourage them to be independent and make smart choices. Where do you draw the line when it comes to their teeth? Parents start out helping their children brush and floss, but the time to let a child do it on their own can seem a little confusing. Here are some great tips to keep in mind:

Until Your Child Can Spit and Rinse

Young children that do not know how to rinse (or avoid swallowing toothpaste) should have a parent help them brush. Always use a fluoride-free toothpaste to prevent upset stomachs. Once children become physically able to rinse and spit on their own, switch to a fluoridated toothpaste for healthy enamel development. 

Increased Independence with “Follow Up”

When your child gets a bit older and wants to brush their teeth by themselves – let them! But continue brushing their teeth for them at least once a day (preferably at night, so that they don’t go to bed with bacteria on their teeth.) Use this time to see how well they are brushing and bring their attention to areas that are being missed. Pay careful attention to the inside and outside of the back teeth.  The better they get, the more you can let them handle it on their own. 

Until Your Child Can Tie His or Her Shoes

Improved dexterity has a tremendous amount to do with how well your child can care for his or her own teeth. Once your child is able to tie their own shoes, you can finally let them start flossing on their own as well.

Bring your child to the dentist every 6 months to check on their hygiene, tooth development, and get important advice on their developing smiles!

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050


Is Your Child Brushing Properly?

Proper brushing is the most important thing you do for your teeth at home. Helping your child get their mouth off to a healthy start is important for the future of their smile. One of the ways we do this is by making sure our children are brushing their teeth the right way. Here are a few things to check for to know if they’re doing fine on their own or need a little help.

Do You See Plaque?

Plaque is usually white, which means it blends in with the tooth. Scratching the tooth with your fingernail can be a good indicator to see if any of the fuzzy biofilm is still present on their teeth. Pay close attention to areas along the gums (and inside of the back teeth.) 

Gum Health

If their gums are puffy or bleed during brushing, they’re not being cleaned well enough. Brushing the gumlines will keep them healthy and remove plaque from congregating along the edges. It may take two weeks of gentle brushing and flossing before gingivitis goes away.

Time Matters

Everyone should brush their teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day. Most of us only spend 20-30 seconds! Set up a timer, clock, or radio (to brush to a song) in the bathroom to ensure that your child is brushing long enough.

Following up behind your child to brush is never a problem. As long as you’re helping them once a day, that is usually all that is needed. Encourage their independence the rest of the time, as they brush on their own. As their dexterity and dedication improve, you will find that they need less supervision. Remember to make sure they are flossing once a day as well so that they do not develop cavities between teeth. At their 6-month dental checkups your dentist or hygienist will assess how they are doing and offer tips if needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

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