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Kids brushing is a family affair

Tooth decay is a more serious problem than you might think. Did you know that it’s the most common chronic childhood disease?

Do your part to combat tooth decay by brushing and flossing with your child. Kids love when they can share an activity with you, and you’re setting an awesome example of what it means to care for your teeth and gums.

Show them proper technique during your twice-daily sessions, like brushing the outer surface of their teeth along the gum line using a circular motion, brushing the chewing surfaces of their teeth with a scrubbing motion, and brushing the insides of their front teeth by holding the brush vertically and using short up-and-down strokes.

Don’t forget to help your child floss once a day, too. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between their teeth, and below their gumline. If they aren’t flossing, they’re missing as much as 30% of their tooth surface! Kids tend to do well with plastic-handled flossing devices, because they’re easier to hold than long lengths of dental floss.

It’s good for your child to practice brushing their own teeth, and learning the techniques, but they actually don’t have the manual dexterity to do it properly until they’re nine or 10 years old. So let them brush their own teeth, and then do a quick brush yourself to make sure everything is good and clean. You can say something like “Let me just help you reach the tough spots!” or “I’ll just do a quick finishing polish!”

Taking care of your child’s teeth and gums is a job you’ll share with them for about the first decade of their life -- and it’s an important one. If you have any questions or concerns about kids brushing, please let us know!