Teaching Your Child To Correctly Brush Their Teeth – 5 Steps To Success

Most kids can start brushing whenever they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes, which usually happens when they’re 5-6 years old. If you’re ready to have your child start brushing their own teeth, there are a few simple steps you can follow to make the process easy. Read on, and get some top tips from Kingstowne Dental Specialists.

1. Familiarize Yourself With Proper Brushing Technique

First, make sure you know how to brush teeth properly! A few tips for better brushing technique include:

  • Brushing at a 45-degree angle – This helps the bristles of the toothbrush clean your gums and teeth more effectively.

  • Separating the teeth into four “quadrants” – You should separate your teeth into upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower right sections, and spend at least 30 seconds on each section of your mouth.

  • Cleaning every tooth surface – Most kids clean the fronts and tops of their teeth. But make sure your little one remembers to clean the back surface of their teeth, too! By angling the toothbrush when brushing, it’s easy to clean the rear surfaces of the teeth.

  • Use short strokes or circles – It’s best to use short back-and-forth or circular tooth-length strokes to clean each individual tooth, so make sure this is what you teach your child!

2. Start By Watching Some Videos About Brushing Their Teeth

Kids love YouTube and learning, so a good place to start when they want to learn the basics of brushing is with some helpful videos! Here are a few of our suggestions.

3. Brush With Your Child To Lead By Example

When you first start, consider letting your child hold their toothbrush, but guiding it with your own hand. This way, they can get a little bit of experience on how it should feel when they brush their teeth, but they don’t have to start on their own.

Even when your child is brushing on their own, you should brush with them to demonstrate proper technique and to supervise them, and make sure they’re cleaning their teeth properly. 

If your child isn’t ready to brush their own teeth twice a day, consider brushing for them once per day, and having them brush on their own once per day. This will help reinforce the principles of good brushing technique as their confidence grows.

4. Set A Timer Or Use A Song To Make Sure They Brush For A Long Enough Time

A 2-minute timer or any 2-minute long song is a great way to make sure your child gets familiar with the recommended length of brushing their teeth. Choosing one of their favorite songs also helps make tooth brushing fun and exciting! 

Get More Kid’s Brushing Tips & A Checkup At Kingstowne Dental Specialists

At Kingstowne Dental Specialists, Dr. Courtney Marzban is always here to give your little ones the care they need in Alexandria. If your child is ready for their first dentist visit or is overdue for a six-month cleaning and oral exam, contact us online or give us a call at (703) 493-0622.

After your appointment, Dr. Marzban can discuss your child’s oral health, give you more tips on great at-home oral care, and answer any other questions you may have about your child’s oral health and development.

free first visit for kids under 15 months!