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Along with checkups and professional cleanings, good daily oral hygiene habits is important to establish. As parents, we must set good examples in order that our children develop this habit.

It is more important that you brush and floss your child’s teeth before bed. Reduced salivary flow while we sleep increase our risk of tooth decay. It doesn’t really matter if you brush first, then floss, or vice versa. Just do it!



Kid_Tips1-1.JPG (9299 bytes)We suggest that you sit on the floor with your child’s head on your lap. This allows you to have better access and view of your child’s teeth. ( Click picture for full size picture )


Kid Tips2-2.JPG (7346 bytes)For infants, use a damp wash cloth and rub your baby’s teeth.

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For toddlers, sing a song, or recite a nursery rhyme to keep him preoccupied as you brush his teeth.

For pre-schoolers, you might count, or sing the alphabet.

For young children, you might play a game of chasing the sugar bugs with the toothbrush, then spitting them down the drain.

Pre-teen and teenagers can listen to music as they brush their teeth. We suggest brushing for the entirety of a song.


Use only a pea size amount of toothpaste.

brushing_1.gif (7405 bytes)Start with the back teeth on the cheek side. Gently brush in little circular motion until you reach the other side.



brushing_2.gif (8165 bytes)Repeat on the tongue side, and on the other arch.



brushing_3.gif (8549 bytes)Brush the biting surfaces back and forth.



brushing_5.gif (7953 bytes)Lastly, gently brush the tongue.



Encourage your child to spit out and not to swallow.

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Already brushing2-2.JPG (6499 bytes)Dr. Newman's son Mitchell brushing already at age 7 months.

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Yes, you should floss your child’s teeth! It is especially important to get between teeth that touch. Most back teeth touch, or have contact, and it is important to clean nightly to reduce the chances of tooth decay between them. Brushing and supplemental fluoride together will not eliminate interproximal decay.


Sit on the floor with your child’s head on your lap.

With the toddler, try playing the game of "stuck". After flossing between the teeth, leave the floss there then look in the mirror. Floss through a few teeth and see the floss hanging out. Before you know it, (and your child) you’ve flossed them all!


Dispense about 18 inches of floss.

adult_floss_1.gif (7861 bytes)Wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers. Your thumb and forefinger should be free to manipulate the floss. Grab only about 1 inch of floss.


adult_floss_2.gif (8321 bytes)Saw the floss back and forth to get between the teeth. Do not snap it in.



adult_floss_3.gif (7941 bytes)Now hug the tooth furthest back, forming a "C" with the floss.

Gently move the floss up and down several times.

Repeat with the tooth closest to you.

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The American Dental Association recommends supplemental fluoride to children 6 months, until the age of 8 years. Supplemental fluoride has drastically reduced tooth decay by as much as 60%! Use fluoride toothpaste daily. Ask Dr. Newman or your pediatrician for a prescription.

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Flossing at 15 mos.jpg (32293 bytes)Dr. Newman's son Mitchell flossing already at age 15 months.



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