The recent news of a two-year-old who had a 15cm long toothbrush stuck in his throat has stirred much discussion online. Dr Bien Lai from the Paediatric Denstistry Unit at NDCS offers the following imporatant guidelines for adults when it comes to toothbrushing for young children:
- An adult should dispense the appropriate amount of toothpaste, and carry out toothbrushing for the child. The toothbrush handle should also be of an appropriate size and grip for an adult to hold
- The toothbrush should be well-constructed and age-appropriate for the child, and should not have any detachable pieces.
- Even if the child is older and can brush his/her own teeth, toothbrushing should still be supervised by an adult until the child enters primary one.
Children should not be brushing their teeth on their own, and should not be holding a toothbrush unattended, nor run around with a toothbrush in hand. In addition, children should not dispense toothpaste on their own, and toothpaste should be kept out of toddlers' reach.
SOURCE: LIANHE WANBAO, SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED, REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION