Brushing Technique

Often families receive no formal instruction in correct brushing, so if the clinician does not provide it, no one else will. Encourage patients to follow these guidelines:

  1. Caregiver should stand or sit behind the child and brush the exposed surfaces of each tooth.
  2. Lift lip to allow proper visualization.
  3. Brush along the gum line where caries commonly begins, both on the outside (buccal) and inside (lingual) of the tooth.
  4. Brush the top or chewing surface (occlusal).
  5. Use small backwards and forwards brushing movements or small circles.
  6. Spit out toothpaste and don't rinse after brushing.
  7. No food or drink after brushing.
  8. Begin flossing daily once teeth touch.
  9. Encourage use of electric toothbrush beginning at age 4 years.

Make Toothbrushing Fun

  • Sing a song that lasts two minutes and brush until done.
  • Sing the alphabet and brush each quadrant until done.
  • Brush in front of the mirror.
  • Use an electric toothbrush featuring timers, lights, or favorite characters.

Lift the Lip


Brush Behind Teeth

Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS
Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS