Parents’ tips: how to brush children’s teeth

Updated: Dec 26, 2018 govt.chinadaily.com.cn Print

Dental health is critical, and the protection of teeth should begin in childhood. Parents need to take scientific approaches to help younger children with oral care. Here are some suggestions.

1. Take care of teeth according to age

(1) 0-6 months stage without teeth:

The baby has not yet had teeth, but the habit of protecting the teeth should begin. After milking, parents should feed the baby with clean water. If there are residual milk stains in the mouth or on the gums, you can use your fingers to wrap the wet gauze with water and wipe gently.

(2) When there are 2-4 teeth on the upper and lower sides each:

You can choose a silicone finger brush and put it on your finger to brush the baby's teeth. For the labial and buccal area  (and inner side) of the teeth, use the finger in a straight up motion, and brush as mentioned above. Repeat every move 4-5 times.

(3) When there are 4-6 teeth on the upper and lower sides each:

Since the position of the teeth is slightly behind, a finger-type toothbrush can be easily bitten by the baby. It needs to be replaced with a silicone toothbrush with a handle to protect the baby's delicate gums while cleaning the teeth effectively.

(4) When there are 6-10 teeth on the upper and lower sides each:

At this stage, a toothbrush with bristles can be used. The bristles should be soft and elastic, and the brush head should be small. Generally, brushes with three rows of bristles are recommended, so that the brush head can be more flexible in the mouth.

(5) From 20 temporary teeth fully grown to emergence of all permanent teeth:

Toothbrushes of different sizes can be selected according to the child’s age. The brush handle should be straight and of the right size so that the child can hold it with ease. The bristles of the toothbrush should be moderately soft, elastic, and rounded.

2. How to use toothbrush and toothpaste

Care should be taken to clean the toothbrush after each use, and the brush head should be placed upside in a cup to keep the brush head dry, reducing breeding of bacteria.

Toothbrushes should be replaced on a regular basis, preferably once every month in summer, and once every three months in other seasons. If the bristles become curly, the toothbrush should be replaced immediately to prevent scratching to the teeth.

Toothpaste for children can be chosen according to their age, and the types can be changed frequently. It's not bad to take the children with you to choose toothpaste and toothbrushes. Children are often more interested in what they choose; this can stimulate their enthusiasm for brushing their teeth.

3. Children are advised not to use electric toothbrushes.

The frequency and strength of electric toothbrushes are fixed. When brushing the teeth, it is difficult for children to master the proper method of use as well as adults. They may hurt the gums, causing redness and swelling, bleeding and other symptoms.

Four tips for caring for the teeth:

1. Pay attention to the growth of the baby's temporary teeth and permanent teeth, and visit the dentist regularly. It is recommended to have routine examinations and the teeth fluoride-coated at least every half year.

2. Urge children to brush their teeth every day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Teach them to rinse their mouths after eating.

3. Don't just eat soft food; eat food with high cellulose and a certain degree of hardness, such as beef, carrots, celery, corn; eat some nuts and other chewy food occasionally. Eat fewer foods with high sugar content. Do not cut the fruit into small pieces to eat.

4. Teeth problems should be treated as soon as possible, and the pit and fissure sealant should be conducted in time after emergence of permanent teeth.

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