Tooth Brushing

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Teaching Your Child the Art of Brushing: A Guide for Parents

A dental patient education blog post from your dental team at Vail Family Dentistry

Dental Education from the American Dental Association

Transcript of the video 

ADA: How to teach your child to brush their teeth

Getting kids to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day, can be a challenge. However, teaching them to take care of their teeth can help instill a lifetime of healthy habits. It may help to encourage your child by explaining that tooth brushing is fun and helps fight the “bad guys” like sticky plaque.

There are many videos, games, and apps online to make brushing more fun. Try letting your child pick out his own toothbrush and toothpaste. After all, there are plenty of child-sized toothbrushes with soft bristles, favorite colors, and cartoon characters. Plus, fluoride toothpastes come in a variety of flavors, colors, and some even have sparkles. Just look for toothbrushes and toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to be sure that they do what they say.

Start to brush your child’s teeth as soon as they appear. For children younger than three, use a child-sized toothbrush and just a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. When your child is between the ages of 3 and 6, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

To begin brushing, place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to his gums and gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.

Once you are comfortable with letting him brush on his own, usually around the age of 6, supervise to ensure he is using the right amount of toothpaste and spitting it out. To help keep your child focused while brushing, set a timer, play a favorite song or video for two minutes, make a reward chart, and add a sticker for every time he brushes for two minutes, two times a day. Once brushing becomes a daily habit, it’ll be much easier to get your child to brush.

Learn more about teaching your child about tooth brushing by reading this article:

How to Teach Your Children to Brush Their Teeth

Kids Brushing Teeth


Hello, Vail Family Dentistry community! Today, we’re diving into a topic close to every parent’s heart: teaching our children the importance of good oral hygiene. Brushing teeth is more than just a daily chore; it’s a stepping stone towards lifelong health. Let’s explore how to make this routine both fun and effective for your little ones.

Understanding the Basics:

Before we jump into the how-tos, let’s understand why brushing is so crucial. The American Dental Association (ADA) emphasizes that brushing for two minutes, twice a day, is essential in fighting off dental villains like plaque and tooth decay. These are not just adult concerns; they start early in life.

1. Start Early:

The journey to healthy teeth begins as soon as the first tooth appears. For children under three, use a child-sized toothbrush with a tiny, rice grain-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste. This small amount is safe and effective for their tiny teeth.

2. Upgrade as They Grow:

Between the ages of 3 and 6, upgrade to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. This is when you can really start teaching them about proper brushing techniques.

3. The Right Technique:

Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and use short, tooth-wide strokes. Remember to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth. For the inner surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes.

4. Make it Fun:

Turn brushing into a game! There are numerous videos, games, and apps designed to make brushing more enjoyable. Let your child pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste – there are many child-friendly options with their favorite colors and characters.

5. Supervision is Key:

Around the age of 6, children can start brushing on their own, but they still need supervision. Ensure they use the right amount of toothpaste and teach them to spit it out after brushing.

6. Keep Them Focused:

Two minutes can seem long for a child. Use a timer, play their favorite song, or even make a reward chart with stickers for every successful brushing session.

7. Regular Dental Visits:

Alongside home care, regular dental check-ups are vital. At Vail Family Dentistry, we love seeing your children’s progress and are here to support their journey towards perfect oral health.


Teaching your child to brush their teeth is an investment in their future well-being. It instills discipline, promotes health, and can even be a bonding experience. Remember, the habits formed in childhood often last a lifetime.

For more tips on dental care or to schedule your child’s next dental visit, contact us at Vail Family Dentistry. We’re here to ensure that every smile in your family is healthy and bright!

Reach out to us today - Because healthy teeth matter!

We believe in making you feel at home. Call us today at (520) 762-3236 to talk about getting the smile of your dreams! You can also use the contact form to email us.

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You deserve a beautiful, confident smile and healthy teeth.

As the oldest, longest established dentist office in Vail, AZ, we are dedicated to offering the best dental care to our community. With our core values of Honesty, Quality and Care, we are proud to serve as your family's dental practice.

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Vail Family Dentistry
Dentist in Vail, AZ

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