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Beginning at birth, infant’s gums should be cleaned with a soft toothbrush or washcloth, and water at bedtime.
Once the teeth have erupted, it is suggested that children’s teeth are brushed two times per day and flossed one time per day.
Children cannot brush or floss their teeth without help until they can cut meat with a fork and knife (approx. age 8-10).
Children tend to brush the surfaces of the teeth towards their lips and cheeks and miss the back teeth.
It is strongly encouraged that the parent also brush and floss the child’s teeth to provide adequate cleaning coverage of all the teeth.
Fluoridated toothpaste can be safely used as soon as the first tooth is erupted. If the child cannot spit, a smear of toothpaste is adequate, about the size of a grain of rice. Once the child can spit, a small amount can be placed on the toothbrush, about the size of a pea.
Xylitol, a natural sugar, can be found in sugar-free gum and mints.