Babies and Toddlers (Ages 0-2)
The American Dental Association recommends that parents start brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. Use a smear of low-fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) on a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your baby’s teeth twice a day.
Preschoolers (Ages 3-5)
At the age of three, children should start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Ensure they brush their teeth twice a day after meals or snacks. Encourage children to spit toothpaste out after brushing. Gradually teach them to brush slowly and methodically across every surface of their teeth. In doing this, each brushing session should take at least two minutes. Additionally, avoid sugary drinks and foods as much as possible.
Elementary School-Aged Kids (Ages 6-11)
For young children six and over, the American Dental Association Council recommends ensuring your child still brushes twice daily, for two minutes each time. Supervise the child’s brushing until at least age nine. Regular visits to your child’s dentist should be scheduled every six months to remove plaque from teeth and monitor any dental cavities. Encourage healthy eating patterns, including a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Teenagers and Up (Ages 12-18)
At this stage, the child is responsible for brushing and flossing. Encourage proper dental hygiene by reminding them of the importance of good oral health. Limit the consumption of sugary foods and drinks like soda and juice to prevent tooth decay. Also, encourage the use of dental floss, and if your child experiences bad breath, add tongue cleaning to their daily routine.