city kids dentist


5 Toothbrushing MYTHS + video demonstration on how to brush teeth!

July 12, 2020

Everyone knows to brush their teeth 2 times a day, for 2 minutes a day... but do you know HOW you need to brush to do a great job?

Let’s dive into some common tooth brushing myths.

Myth #5- My 5 year old can brush their teeth on their own

Truth #5- You may need to brush your child’s teeth until they are around 7-8 yrs old. It’s fine to let your child start brushing on their own early on, but they usually don’t have the hand skills needed to get to the hard to reach areas in the back and the sides. The rule of thumb is when the child can tie their shoelaces on their own, they are ready to brush on their own.

Myth #4 – Medium or hard toothbrushes will do a better job brushing than soft toothbrushes.

Truth #4- Contrary to popular belief brushing harder (with medium /hard toothbrush) can actually damage the gums and cause gum recession. Get a super soft or soft toothbrush!

Myth #3– When brushing, go back and forth in a sweeping motion.

Truth # 3- Align the brush 45 degrees towards the gumline (see video below) and go in a circular motion. This is the best way to get all the plaque and food off without damaging the gums.

Myth # 2- I need a full strip of toothpaste to cover the entire toothbrush

Truth #2 – For children under 3 years old, a smear/rice size is enough, and for children over 3 years old, a pea size is perfect. Especially with fluoridated toothpaste, we do not want children to swallow more fluoride than is necessary. Too much fluoride, if ingested, however, can cause mild fluorosis (discoloration) on the teeth later on.

Myth #1 – I need to brush my teeth for 2 minutes.

Truth #1- Although 2 minutes is the recommended amount of time for children and adults to brush their teeth, the most important thing is to brush EVERY SURFACE of EVERY TOOTH to make sure all plaque and food particles come off.

For some children, like if you have braces for example, this may require even longer than 2 minutes as it is important to get around all the brackets and wires and all the hard to reach areas.

And of course, flossing is also important to clean between all those hard to reach areas that a toothbrush can’t reach!

Click here for a  Video demonstration of proper brushing technique.


brushing tips kids 300x212 - 5 Toothbrushing MYTHS  + video demonstration on how to brush teeth!

This article originally appeared on at the following link.

Follow us on Facebook and instagram @nyckidsdentist for more tooth tips!

Recent Blog Posts

eb7083 5ad8544330ef415b8b06dc8b2c9e25b3mv2 d 6016 4000 s 4 2 - Why your ONE year old needs to visit the dentist

Why your ONE year old needs to visit the dentist

July 11, 2019

A post in my favorite mommy group recently asked when the best time to to start going to the pediatric dentist. Here were some of the responses: “I brush teeth every day, and we don’t eat candy. We don’t have any problems, so why do we need to see a dentist so young?” “He hardly…
Continue Reading

Resized 20181206 160736 768x1024 - 5 things that make our office a "kid-friendly" environment

5 things that make our office a “kid-friendly” environment

December 6, 2018

Taking a child to the dentist can incite some level of nerves in any parent, which is why we at Pediatric Dentistry of New York are always looking for ways to make a visit to our office a fun and comfortable experience. Here are the top 5 things that make our office a “kid-friendly” environment…
Continue Reading

rawpixel 669628 unsplash 1024x683 - Trick-or treating-on Halloween; A pediatric dentist's perspective

Trick-or treating-on Halloween; A pediatric dentist’s perspective

October 25, 2018

October in New York: The leaves change color, a cold chill sets in, there is pumpkin spice everything… and of course Halloween! This is one holiday that most children look forward to all year long. They get to pick and decorate pumpkins, wear their favorite Princess or PJ masks costumes, and the favorite pastime of…
Continue Reading

Sticky Cavity Causing Foods and Snacks

March 27, 2018

  What type of foods can cause cavities in children? Parents often ask about snack foods that can cause cavities in children. Candy is notorious as a “cavity-causing food”, but other snack foods which are sometimes considered “healthy” snack options such as dry fruit, cereal, gummy vitamins, or organic fruit snacks can also be very…
Continue Reading

What Are Sealants?

February 11, 2018

Have you ever had a candy, pretzel, or granola bar that stayed stuck in the grooves of your teeth? Those grooves are notorious for collecting food and plaque that can cause cavities over time. Prevention is key! Sealants are a noninvasive procedure which help “seal” the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth…
Continue Reading

should children whiten - Should Children Use Whitening Products?

Should Children Use Whitening Products?

October 1, 2020

As adults, we often wish our teeth could be as white as they were when we were small children. Baby teeth have thinner and whiter enamel than adult teeth, and those brilliant smiles are a result! But occasionally, you may be surprised to discover some staining or discoloration on those lovely first teeth. You might…
Continue Reading

woman using mouthwash 18414826 - Which type of mouthwash is best?

Which type of mouthwash is best?

September 17, 2020

Taking care of your oral health involves a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. Though you may have asked us which toothbrush to use, few patients ask about mouthwash. However, different mouthwashes you might choose will have varying effects on your oral health. So which type is…
Continue Reading

pedo baby surprised - Can my child really avoid tooth decay?

Can my child really avoid tooth decay?

August 31, 2020

Great question! Yes, in fact, tooth decay is preventable! Decay, which is caused by sugars left in your child’s mouth, can turn into an acid, which in turn can break down his or her teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents tend to be lax…
Continue Reading