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How Long Should My Child Brush Their Teeth?

Woman smiles as she looks at her young daughter brushing her teeth in the bathroom

Watching your child grow up can be both frustrating and exciting! There are many types of moments that will live in your memory for better and for worse. One of the more difficult parenting battles can be making sure your child gets their teeth brushed.

Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth emerges. Aim for at least one good brushing session a day in the first few years of your child’s life, although both morning and night is ideal. Use a child-sized toothbrush and a small smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Thoroughly brush each tooth surface, their gums, and their tongue.

By three years old, brush your child’s teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Your child may be ready to start brushing their teeth with supervision around 5-6 years old, or when they start school. We understand it can be challenging to have your child endure brushing for a full two minutes. It was likely already a wrestling match as a toddler with only a few teeth and less brushing time.

Here are some tips to help make brushing more enjoyable and less stressful for you both:

  1. Brush to a Song
  2. Try brushing your child’s teeth to the beat of their favorite song! Most songs are at least two to three minutes long, which is the perfect length for a brushing session. If it’s a seasonal time of the year, holiday hits can get them even more excited.

  3. Set a Timer
  4. Buy a toothbrush timer so your child can see how much longer they need to brush.

  5. Pick Out a Fun Brush & Toothpaste Flavor
  6. There are many appealing children’s toothbrushes with soft bristles, including ones that light up or are in silly animal shapes. Let your child choose their toothbrush and flavor of toothpaste to help them feel more in control of their oral hygiene routine. Be sure to replace their brush every 3 months so the bristles are in optimal cleaning condition.

Children’s Dentist in North Carolina

Daily brushing at home isn’t the only thing that can help your child maintain a healthy smile! Routine cleanings and visits with our team are essential for their oral health. Contact us today to schedule a visit for your child at a CarolinasDentist location near you.

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