Parents should begin brushing a child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts through the gum. A child size brush with soft, rounded or polished bristles is recommended, and should be replaced when the bristles become worn. A pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough not to swallow it. By age four or five, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day with supervision to make sure they are doing a thorough job.
By age seven, children should be able to brush alone. Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch. At about age eight, the child should be able to floss under supervision. Check with your hygienist or dentist to determine if your child has the proper skills to brush and floss properly.