Infants & Toddlers - Age 0-3 years
With the caregiver sitting on the floor with legs crossed, have the child position their head in your lap. Using a toothbrush with soft round bristles and a dab of tooth paste, gently brush all surfaces of the teeth in a circular motion. Make sure you are brushing the area where the gum meets the tooth, as this is where food particles collect. Use a moist washcloth to frequently wipe out the mouth to ensure the child does not swallow an excessive amount of toothpaste. If the child is cooperative, this is a good time to floss between the teeth as well.
Pre-school children - Age 3-6 years
Many parents feel that children of this age have mastered the skills of brushing. It is important for the parents to continue brushing the child’s teeth after allowing them to either brush on their own first or watch and follow the parent as they brush their teeth. If the child is unable to expectorate adequately, then the parent should take a moist washcloth and wipe out the excess toothpaste. Positioning the pre-school child standing in front and in the same direction as the parent with the head tipped back will allow good visualization of all the teeth. Do not try to brush their teeth from the frontal position. There is no head support and this position can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Adequate brushing should last about one minute.