kid brushing teeth pediatric dentist calgary

The Importance of Kids Brushing Every Day

Getting your child to brush their teeth daily can feel as difficult as pulling teeth sometimes! 

Any pediatric dentist in Calgary is all-too-familiar with this issue that parents have. Thankfully, there are ways for parents to encourage their kids to brush their teeth without fuss.

When you thoroughly understand why your kids need to brush their teeth daily, you can easily communicate it so that your children can understand and make it easier to have them brush those pearly whites! 

father and son brushing teeth pediatric dentist calgary

Best Age to Start Brushing

A common question from parents is this: “What should my child start brushing?” Many parents would be surprised to know it’s after seeing their first tooth! A child’s first tooth will typically appear when they’re still an infant at around six months old. 

You will be responsible for maintaining their oral health as an infant until they’re around three years old. According to Alberta Health, children should be brushing their own teeth every morning and night by age 4. Parents should gradually introduce fluoride to their brushing routine as they supervise and check their kids’ brushing for proper cleaning. 

Once they’re eight years old, they should be able to brush on their own without your help and supervision. 

Why Kids’ Oral Health Matters

The fundamental importance of having your kids brush their teeth daily is to help instill it as a healthy habit. Practicing good oral care early every day can help prevent your kids from developing any future tooth decay-like cavities.

Children and adults alike can grow habits through consistency, which easily applies to teaching your child to brush their teeth. When you introduce good oral care daily to your kids early, they can effectively integrate it into their daily morning and evening routine. 

How to Get the Kids into Brushing

Kids are incredibly impressionable and easily emulate their parents. If your child sees you don’t brush, it will be harder to convince them that brushing is important. From a child’s perspective, they think: “If mom and dad don’t brush, why do I have to do so?” So, set an example by brushing your teeth daily as well!

Additionally, you can find fun, creative ways to help get your little ones to brush their teeth every day. 

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Simply brushing together (i.e. copying you)
  • Make a game out of it (i.e. brushing all teeth properly at a set time)
  • Positive affirmations after brushing
  • Watch an engaging video on oral health and brushing
  • Have a reward system after brushing 

These are just a few ways to motivate your kids to brush their teeth daily. You know your child best about what they might find fun. So, try to appeal to them in this way that helps to encourage consistent oral care for them every day. 

Visiting a dentist shouldn’t be a scary experience for children, and Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry is here to make sure that children feel safe and excited about their regular checkups. Happy Trails is a professional pediatric dentistry proudly serving south Calgary, and we have a goal of creating an inviting and comfortable space for children to receive the best care available. With our fantastic dentist, Dr. Sam, our young patients in Calgary will always have a positive dental experience!

Teaching a child how to brush teeth

Teaching Your Child How To Brush Their Teeth

Did you know tooth decay is the most common, yet preventable, childhood chronic disease in Canada and around the world? A proper oral hygiene routine is vital to preventing tooth decay and other serious dental problems. It will also help you avoid costly oral treatments in the future. 

Good oral health starts with teaching your child how to brush their teeth, and regularly visiting our Calgary dental office. Dr. Sam and our team here at Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry have put together some tips to help teach your child about brushing their teeth!  

When to Start Brushing

Brushing your child’s teeth should begin from the moment their first tooth erupts. With that being said, oral hygiene should be a priority from the moment they are born! It’s important to keep in mind that brushing techniques will vary depending on your child’s age. Please see below:


You should start an oral hygiene routine for your child as early as possible. We recommend gently wiping your infant’s gums and mouth with clean, wet gauze or a soft washcloth after feedings. This will reduce the build-up of sugar in their mouth, thus making it harder for bacteria to grow.


You’ll need to care for your toddler’s gums and emerging teeth by brushing them regularly. Use a soft toothbrush, and a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure your child spits out all the toothpaste, and rinses their mouth with water. 


Many parents don’t worry too much about their child’s baby teeth because they figure that they will just fall out anyways. The truth is that those baby teeth are like place holders, acting as guides for the permanent teeth. Decaying baby teeth can still cause pain/discomfort, difficulty eating and speaking, infections, and low self-esteem. You can avoid all these by simply teaching your child how to clean their teeth and mouth.

How to Brush Teeth Correctly

First you must apply the right amount of toothpaste (rice-sized for kids below three years, and pea-sized for those over three years) onto a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Angle the toothbrush 45 degrees against the gum line to target the areas where plaque accumulates the most. Brush from the base of the tooth (both front and back) to the chewing surface using short strokes, so every tooth is cleaned. Remember to brush the tongue and roof of the mouth as well. This process should last at least 2 minutes and twice daily. If your child’s teeth are touching, we recommend flossing first to release any food particles. 

Don’t Forget About Regular Checkups!

Regular visits to a children’s dentist are vital, so the experts can examine your child’s dental health and help to reinforce the oral lessons you’re teaching at home. At Happy Trails Children’s Dentistry in Calgary, we believe that a healthy smile today is a healthy smile tomorrow. Schedule a pediatric dentist appointment with Dr. Sam here to learn about the different dental services we offer! Including fluoride treatment, dental sealant, and preventive care among other cutting edge treatments that will give your child the smile they deserve! Make sure to also follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for more oral health tips and tricks!