Of the 40,000 people of Draper, Utah, about a third are under the age of 18. How many of these individuals are aware of how they should brush and floss?

The younger a child is, the less likely it is they understand how they should be brushing. But the truth is, many parents aren’t aware of some important concepts when it comes to oral health.

For children under the age of two, for example, it’s best to just use a little water and a soft-bristled tooth brush. For all ages, you should be brushing for two minutes, two times a day, the best dental health research says.

At ages 2-6, parents should be brushing their kids’ teeth with a pea sized dab of fluoride toothpaste, according 2min2x.org, a website dedicated to children’s dental health. As you teach your kids how to brush their teeth, remember that you’ll probably need to do much of the brushing for completeness, despite your child’s best intentions. This will be the case until the child can learn how to brush at an angle against their gums, and to brush with short, soft strokes across all of the teeth.

Another important tip is to have your child spit out the toothpaste rather than swallow it. Replace toothbrushes every four months or so, or sooner if the bristles wear out.

When should you begin flossing the teeth of your child? The best time is when two teeth begin to touch each other. This generally happens around the age of one.

When should your child first see the dentist? It is generally good to not wait past their first birthday. Remember that the dentist can detect small problems that can grow larger, and is trained to spot any development issues in a child’s mouth.

Ask your dentist about any other questions you have. Remember that preserving your child’s health now will save them a lot of trouble down the road.