boy brushing teeth

Toothbrush 101

I don’t know about the rest of you, but every time I read one of these articles or hear a story on the radio, I HAVE TO BUY A NEW TOOTHBRUSH.

I am going to answer some of the most common questions using the American Dental Association  and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines.

girl brushing teeth

When to start brushing teeth?

Immediately upon birth you should begin cleaning the gums with either an infant brush or damp cloth. Upon eruption of teeth you should transition to an infant toothbrush.

With the eruption of the first tooth but no later then 1 year of age your child should begin seeing the dentist..

How often should my child brush their teeth?

Twice a day. Once in the morning and once before bed.

How often should  my child floss?

once a day before bed

How do I select a toothbrush?

Soft Bristles

Small head

Look for the ADA seal of approval

  • all parts are safe in the mouth
  • bristles are free of sharp edges
  • handle is durable
  • bristles won’t fall out
  • does not require supervision by most adults

Manual and Electric work equally well. Children might enjoy electric ones more. There are also brushes that play a song so the child knows how long to brush.

boy smiling with toothbrush

How do I care for my toothbrush?

  • Never share toothbrushes! 1 brush per person.
  • Rinse with tap water after using.
  • Store in an upright position allowing to air dry.
  • Don’t allow toothbrushes to touch if sharing a holder.
  • Don’t routinely store in a closed container.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

Every 3-4 months.

In my house it was simple Christmas, My birthday in March, Summer vacation in June, and My daughter’s birthday in September. It is an easy way to remember it is time. if you don’t have a family member with a spring birthday, you could make it part of Easter.

For directions on proper brushing, the ADA has made a chart.

Healthy smiles Healthy Children and  GIVE KIDS A SMILE are foundations to provide services to under served children.


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