Teeth Brushing Tips for Kids

In this post, we’ll look at teeth brushing tips for kids.

Smiles in Framingham provides the best pediatric dental services in Framingham in the surrounding areas. Dr. Deborah A. Himelhoch, DDS MS, MMSc, is a board-certified orthodontist with over 37 years of experience. She’s a board-certified orthodontist and also board-certified in pediatric dentistry. Thus, the whole family can enjoy top-quality award-winning care in our family-friendly, comfortable office.

From the time the first tooth arrives, it’s time to start caring for them. Therefore, plan on bringing your child to the dentist before their first birthday. Doing so will help lead to a lifetime of good habits, better health, and beautiful smiles.

Dental Care Begins Before the First Tooth

Even before the first tooth emerges, it’s a good practice to wipe down the baby’s gums. We recommend using a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water to wipe down the mouth daily. Bacteria builds up on their gums and can be wiped away to keep them clean.

By getting your baby used to daily cleanings, it paves the way for introducing them to brushing.

See more in the video below:

After the First Tooth: Teeth Brushing Tips for Kids

 When the first tooth emerges, it’s time to begin using a tiny amount of toothpaste. But how much? For kids younger than age three, use a dollop of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Since babies can’t spit out the toothpaste, you can have them tilt their heads, so the paste dribbles into the sink, a cup, or washcloth.

By the age of three to six, you can increase the amount to the size of a pea. When older, kids learn to hold a kid-size brush and spit out the toothpaste. 

To make the process more fun, kids can pick out a brush that has their favorite colors or character on them. To make sure they’re safe, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal and soft bristles. Also, kids’ toothpaste comes in a wide variety and can keep kids interested in brushing.

 Until around the age of six, parents generally need to do the brushing. By that age, kids are ready to do it independently, using the right amount of toothpaste and spitting it out.

Brush Two Times a Day for Two Minutes

The ADA recommends getting in the habit of brushing twice daily for two minutes. Also, they suggest setting a timer and playing a child’s favorite music. Or, you can use counting as a game as you complete two minutes of brushing. After brushing, check out their teeth and make any touch-ups needed.

By making it a game, the experience becomes more fun. As an additional incentive, you can create a reward chart and place a star on it when kids complete brushing. When a child completes a week with all the stars fill in, offer praise for a job well done! 

As they brush, teach them why brushing can help their smiles remain healthy and happy.

See more about what to expect at your child’s first dental visit here. We look forward to helping you keep your family healthy and happy, with a lifetime of smiles!

How to Brush Teeth

To properly brush, the ADA suggests holding the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently brush back and forth in short strokes. After brushing the outer surfaces, move to the inner teeth and the tops of the teeth.

To reach the inside surfaces, you may tilt the brush vertically and make up and down strokes. See how it’s done in the video below.

See more in the video from the American Dental Association below:

See more about caring for kids’ dental care during Covid-19 in our recent blog. To learn more about the steps we’re taking to keep everyone safe, please see our recent post here. 

Contact us here to schedule a visit.

Call us anytime at 508-872-0555. 

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Dr. Himelhoch is trained and experienced in providing care for both pediatric and adult orthodontic problems to the residents of Framingham, MA. Also, we’re proud to serve Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and the surrounding areas.


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To all my wonderful patients and their families:


The greatest pleasures of my career are watching children grow strong and healthy and seeing smiles become more beautiful. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of that growth and transformation. Now, however, it is time for me to slow down and share the care of my patients.


Starting in September 2022, Smiles in Framingham will merge with Moynihan Dental Specialists. I will remain with the practice, but will reduce my hours and give up administrative responsibilities. The wonderful team of people you and I have come to rely on will be staying. They will continue to help care for you. There will also be new faces, new people who will get to know and care for and about you.


Dr. Michael Moynihan is a second generation dentist and orthodontist practicing in Framingham. Dr. Mike, as he is known, is on the faculty of Boston University in the department of orthodontics. We spent two years as teaching partners supervising the Boston University orthodontic residents as they treated special needs children at Franciscan Hospital for Children. It was during that time I came to appreciate both how skilled Dr. Mike is and how much he cares about his patients. I retired from teaching prior to the pandemic, but Dr. Mike still puts much of his time and energy into teaching the next generation of orthodontists.


I met Dr. Daniel Moynihan when he was my student in 2017. Even at that time he was one of my most conscientious students. He cares deeply about all of his patients and I am proud to be associated with him. Dr. Dan is highly skilled with all aspects of orthodontics, including treatment using Invisalign and other aligners.


Dr. Katherine Moynihan and Dr. Christine Chiao are other members of the Moynihan team. Dr. Katherine Moynihan finished her orthodontic training at Boston University in 2021. Dr. Christine Chiao is a pediatric dentist, who also teaches at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.


Life is an adventure with many chapters, twists, and turns. I enter this chapter of my life looking forward to what comes next and feeling some sadness that this phase of my life is changing. For now, we will be keeping all appointments as scheduled. We will contact you individually about any appointment changes. All orthodontic contracts will be honored with care provided by the orthodontists. I have every confidence that the doctors of Moynihan Dental Specialists will provide you with excellent care for many years to come.


My very best wishes to all of you,


Dr. Deborah Himelhoch