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Do You Know The Proper Brushing Basics?

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We talk every week about this basic skill -- brushing teeth. We all know to help them out, to sing a little song to keep them brushing for the proper amount of time, to make sure they brush twice a day (at least).

But how about the real basics? That list of tooth brushing facts, the nitty-gritty details? Do you know them well enough to teach them to your kids? I sure don't. Let's review!

 -- Kids should be using a toothbrush with soft bristles.

-- Remember a pea-size bit of toothpaste is all you need. Yeah, those ads with the long strip of paste, curled up at the end just so, well, that just looks good. A small, little round amount is perfect.

-- We should hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and use small strokes, back and forth, not in circles.

-- For the front teeth and inside of the teeth, use up and down strokes.

-- Focus on covering two or three teeth at time.

-- Don't forget to floss. I know I am bad at this myself, but those little flossers make it so easy to help Kiddo get into the flossing habit.

Like every other basic skill, the more fun you make it the better. Have your child select a cool character toothbrush if that helps, or one in her favorite color. Pick a flavor of toothpaste they like. Bring in a stuffed animal and give Catty her own little toothbrush. Also, try putting them in charge of it. Have them repeat to you what each step is, make a funny poem to remember to brush and floss.

Which of these brushing facts were you surprised about (or forgot)? Me: I didn't know about the covering to two or three teeth at a time.



by on May. 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by Betty on May. 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I was a dental assistant way back when...we were taught to use circles, not up and down or back and forth. that one is new to me.

by Member on May. 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Wondering how you teach a child to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle?

I'm thankful for a hubby that loves me, 4 healthy children, a warm
place to sleep and enough food for our meals... God bless America!

by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I didn't know about using back and forth, I thought we were supposed to use up and down on all.

by on May. 22, 2012 at 1:03 PM

yeah I need to get better about flossing too

Quoting HeatherNYC:

Hey ladies -- Heather here! Yeah, there are a few ideas on brushing. From what I have seen, up and down is good for inside, hard to reach part of the teeth, as well as short back and forth strokes. I've heard circles as well, though too! Our experts from Oral B may have more ideas on other posts as well...

Flossing is still my main issue!

by on May. 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Quoting VisionSeeker:

 Thanks for sharing.  I learned a few things :)

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on May. 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM
Same here! Hmmm

Quoting batjmom:

I have always heard to use circles. So the up and down on the front was new to me
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by Member on May. 22, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I didn't know you should brush up and down, I thought circles but I never could get that down, so I guess I am doing good but I should of always brushed good and my teeth are horrible.

by Member on May. 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM


by Meghan on May. 22, 2012 at 6:01 PM
I knew these
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by on May. 22, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Yep, all of these were discussed with me by my pediatric dentist. 

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