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The right dental tools

When it comes to your child’s dental health, it’s important to start early, be consistent and use age-appropriate tools.

With babies, a finger brush or a washcloth helps your baby get used to the feeling and idea of having their mouth cleaned. A silicone brush helps with oral motor sensory development, and it’s an easy proposition when babies want to put everything in their mouths. Be sure to use one made specifically for your baby’s age and ability.

In early childhood, a soft bristle toothbrush helps remove plaque and keep gums healthy. Avoid hard, stiff bristles. Toothpaste with fluoride helps prevent cavities, which is especially important if your child is at a higher risk of dental caries. Floss picks are great for getting out the stuck bits between teeth and helping your child learn the value of flossing.

When your child is older, around age 7, electric toothbrushes work well. String floss works best to curve around each tooth. Flossing takes some practice, but your child will get there with guidance. Mouth rinse is nice for fresh breath when children understand how to spit, and it’s practical for families who do not have fluoridated water.

Adapted from @the.dentistmom on Instagram.


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1611 J street Springfield, OR


Dr. Erin Estep is a board-certified pediatric dentist who owns Treehouse Kids Dentist in Springfield. She and her staff are committed to making sure your child has an amazing, safe, memorable dental experience.


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