Cleaning Your Child's Teeth

Cleaning your child’s teeth is necessary to prevent cavities. Brushing and flossing remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria on your teeth. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, in the morning and evening for at least two minutes each time. They should be flossed at least once a day, preferably at bedtime because when we sleep there is less saliva in the mouth to neutralize plaque acid. If the teeth have food and plaque left behind more damage is done at night. It is important that an adult brush and floss their child’s teeth until they have the ability to cut their own food with a knife and fork. A parent should supervise their child’s brushing and flossing until around the age of 10 or 11, to make sure they are doing a correct and thorough job.

To get the point across to  kids on the importance of brushing and flossing I like to ask them if they like to eat off dirty silverware and dishes from days before because this is exactly what they are doing if they don't brush and floss.

When checking their brushing I  suggest patients floss, use the waterpik, brush, and then use a disclosing tablet which will highlight any plaque missed.  This will let you know if there are any areas that are being missed.

How to floss

For areas between the teeth that the toothbrush can't reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. When purchasing dental floss make sure to purchase the thicker floss types, the thinner the floss is, the more it stabs the gums when you're flossing. Try it yourself, it really does. It is important to floss behind every tooth. I recommend when flossing that the dental floss go all the way down to the gum line and hug each side of the tooth and then to pull the floss out at an angle. more food comes out this way than if you pull the dental floss straight up. Remember to make sure you are flossing before going to bed! At night our mouth is more dry and the food left between our teeth causes more damage.

How to brush

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Use the appropriate amount of fluoridated toothpaste for the child's age. From age 6 months to 35 months they should use a smear, or grain of rice size of toothpaste. From 36 months and up they should use nothing more than a pea-sized amount.

Place the toothbrush at a 45° angle aiming towards the gums. Move the toothbrush back and forth gently in short tooth wide strokes. I like to tell the kids to pretend that it's a marker and to make sure to color all the surfaces of the teeth front and back and top.

The AAPD most recent guidelines recommend that we try not to rinse with water after brushing to allow the fluoride vitamins to soak into the enamel of the teeth. The key to this is using less toothpaste as described above. By using a whole lot of toothpaste as the TV commercials show us we end up having to rinse with water because we gag otherwise. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.

If you have orthodontic appliances or are more prone to decay, you may want to brush and floss more often:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • After the lunch or right after school
  • After dinner at bedtime

I also suggest using the Waterpik water flosser  before brushing to trace around your gums as if outlining them. Use this where the teeth and gums meet, a.k.a. the gum line. Trace all the way around your mouth on the front, the back, and the sides way in the back of both the top and bottom teeth. You will be amazed at all the gross stuff that comes out in the sink. It is an excellent aid in helping patients get an area too often missed where plaque and food tend to hide.

Recommend Philips Sonicare toothbrush.

Recommend fluoride toothpaste, tasty paste-especially great for pts that gag more easily!

Recommend disclosing tablets to see where plaque is left behind and hiding, these can be used before or after your oral hygiene routine.

Also make sure to change your toothbrush every 3 months.

Contact Us

Send Us an Email

Our Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm




7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm