How to Brush and Floss Your Teeth

Click here to download an illustrated how-to guide.

Thayne's summer 2014 166Good oral hygiene involves daily brushing by an adult until the child is seven or eight years old. It is not until that age that children obtain the appropriate level of hand dexterity to clean all aspects of their teeth.

As soon as a child has teeth, they are at risk for decay & need to be brushed. As soon as the child has teeth that are touching, they need to be flossed. We recommend that children have their teeth cleaned laying back on the floor with their parent or care giver behind them. This simulates the dental chair and allows the person brushing or flossing to have the best possible view and access.


  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Move the brush back and forth gently in short strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, roll to the chewing surfaces, and then to the inside surfaces on all teeth.
  • To clean the inside surface of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.


  • Use about 18 inches of floss wound around your lower (middle to pinkie) fingers on both hands.
  • Hold the floss tightly between the thumbs and forefingers and gently insert it between the teeth.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape against the side of the tooth.
  • Rub the floss gently down the side of one tooth below the gum, up over the separating gum, down the side of the opposite tooth and up. Be sure to keep the floss¬†pressed against the tooth. Don’t jerk or snap the floss.
  • Floss all your teeth. Don’t forget to floss behind your back teeth.