Brushing & Flossing

Parents already know that brushing and flossing their children’s teeth is the best thing they can do for their long-term oral health. We have compiled some suggestions to make daily brushing and flossing easier and more effective. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office! We prefer to get to know our patients and provide instructions in prevention before problems arise.


Parents often need to help their children brush until the child is at least 6 years of age. Usually, children should be using fluoridated toothpaste to strengthen the dental enamel. Current guidelines for patients under age 3 recommend using a dot of fluoridated toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice; over age 3, use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste until the child no longer swallows the paste after brushing.

When you brush your child’s teeth, move the brush in small, circular, polishing motions and be sure to brush every tooth. Don’t forget back teeth–although they can be difficult to reach, they tend to hide bacteria and food particles.

Depending on your child’s decay rate (how easily they get cavities), we suggest brushing your child’s teeth two to four times daily to ensure optimal cleanliness. You may want to brush your child’s teeth:

  • After breakfast (good breath equals more friends!)
  • After lunch
  • After school
  • Before bed (the most important time to brush!)

Remember to replace the toothbrush as soon as the bristles begin to wear down or droop.


Brushing alone won’t remove those stubborn food particles that lodge themselves between the teeth. It is important to use floss to remove plaque and food from your child’s teeth each day. The best time to floss is usually at night before brushing.

When you floss your child’s teeth for the first time, you may notice that their gums bleed. Minor bleeding while the gums adjust to the routine is common.. If the bleeding continues after flossing their teeth for several nights, please give us a call.

Contact Christensen Pediatric Dental with your questions or concerns, or to schedule your next appointment!