Brushing Teeth :: Winning the Battle


This post was written and sponsored by our partners at Affiliated Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

Want to know how to win the tooth brushing battle? 

Good dental hygiene is important from the moment your child sprouts that first tooth. Babies, toddlers and young children need assistance developing good oral hygiene habits at a young age to ensure their teeth stay cavity free.

Brushing Teeth

Successful tips for good oral hygiene and cavity prevention:

 Make brushing teeth part of the routine

  • Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, we recommend you clean their gums after bottle or breastfeeding.  Wrap one finger with a clean, damp washcloth and gently rub it across the baby’s gum tissue.
  • When the first tooth appears, you can upgrade to a baby toothbrush.  Be sure to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head.
  • A baby toothbrush can be a favorite toy as your baby is teething, so let your baby play with it.

Make sure to watch out for common causes of tooth decay

  • Infants who fall asleep with a bottle that contains formula, fruits juices or milk (including breastmilk) are more susceptible to cavities.
  • Before you child falls asleep after feeding, wipe off their teeth with Spiffies or a wet washcloth.
  • Reduce frequent snacking throughout the day. Every time your child snacks, it creates an environment for decay because it exposes teeth repeatedly to acid attacks.
  • Limit sugary drinks, such as fruit juices to mealtimes, and a maximum of 4-6 ounces per day.

Make sure you floss your child’s teeth

  • Once teeth start making contact with each other, it’s time to start flossing.
  • If the teeth are not touching, you can forego flossing, but remember that teeth can move together as new teeth erupt.
  • Try out floss sticks like Crayola Flossers (they’re flavored and great for kids).
  • Your child’s pediatric dentist will let you know when it’s time to start flossing.

 Make sure you are exposing your child’s teeth to fluoride

  • Drink fluoridated water
    • Talk to your pediatrician or pediatric dentist about an in-office fluoride treatment, especially if your child is not drinking fluoridated water.
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste
    • No more than a smear or rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used for children under age three. A pea-sized amount should be used for children ages three to six.
    • Monitor your child when using fluoride toothpaste to ensure they don’t swallow excess.
    • It is not necessary to wait until your child can spit to use fluoride toothpaste as long as you are using the correct amount.

Toothpaste and Toothbrush - North Phoenix Moms Blog  Make brushing and flossing a game

  • Let your child brush the stuffed animals’ or dolls’ teeth to practice.
  • Sing! Make up silly songs! “The toothbrush in the mouth goes round and round,” is a great one!  Singing increases the fun level and reinforces the routine.
  • Play “copy cat.” Since most kids enjoy learning by copying their parents but want to do it themselves, brush together looking into a mirror.
  • Follow up on their brushing with a common game of chasing things in their mouth. So, you might say you see a giraffe or a tiger in there that you need to catch, or say that you’re chasing sugar bugs.

Make it a team effort

  • If your child can not tie their own shoes, they’re probably not ready to brush by themselves. As independent as your child wants to be, it is recommended to help with brushing and flossing until age 9 or 10. Let your little one brush first and then you should go back and “check” to make sure all of the sugar bugs are gone.

By following these tips, and keeping them positive and fun, you are helping your child develop good dental habits that will help protect their teeth for decades to come.

Previous articleBe You Jewelry {GIVEAWAY}
Next articleFoodie Friday :: Wink 24
Kate was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona. She became a new mom in March 2015, when her son Walker was born, and is loving every minute of motherhood. She is an early childhood educator, with a bachelor’s in early childhood and a master’s in educational leadership. She spent five years teaching pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in the Phoenix area. In addition, Kate is the owner of Peas in a Pod Nanny Agency, which she opened in 2011. Although originally from Arizona, Kate also lived in the glorious cities of San Francisco and Chicago (where she met her husband). She spends her free time exploring new restaurants, taking trips when time allows, and soaking up time with her family.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here