Teaching children to brush their own teeth is an important milestone. Beginning in infancy, parents should begin brushing for the child. As toddlers develop, they can begin placing their own hand over an adult’s hand to help brush. Allow young children to feel the bristles of the toothbrush and learn the motions necessary to brush effectively.
1. Apply a small (pea size) amount of toothpaste to the child’s toothbrush. Most brands of training toothpaste omit fluoride. Beware if you do use fluoride toothpaste and your child complains of a tummy ache, he/she may have swallowed some.
2. Move the toothbrush in a circular motion until all the front surfaces of the teeth have been cleaned and then move to the inside surfaces (molars or premolars). Brush together with your child to demonstrate how long they should brush front and inside surfaces.
3. Show your child how to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth and lower front teeth (flick the toothbrush carefully from the gum line down or away). Remind your child to carefully place the tip of the toothbrush near the gums.
4. Demonstrate for your child how to brush their tongue and the insides of their cheeks.
5. Remind your child to rinse well and avoid swallowing the toothpaste.
Print the tooth template or a daily toothbrushing checklist below: