Teaching a child how to brush teeth
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Happy Trails

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!

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