Regular toothbrushing is very important for both children and adults. It helps to remove the bacteria and plaque that may cause tooth decay. You can help your child to get into a daily toothbrushing routine as soon as their first teeth break through.
Parents/carers should then brush or help their child to brush their teeth until they are at least seven years old to make sure the teeth are cleaned properly, to supervise the amount of toothpaste used and to prevent licking or eating the toothpaste.
Brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, last thing at night and on at least one other occasion.
Brushing at bedtime is important as it makes sure that the fluoride continues to protect the teeth while your child is asleep.
Brush thoroughly – encourage your child to (or help them to) brush all surfaces of their teeth (see further information below for advice).
Choose a toothbrush with a small head and medium-textured bristles, a manual or electric toothbrush can be used.
Use fluoride toothpaste containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride. The amount of fluoride in toothpaste can be found on the side of the tube. A pea sized amount of toothpaste is all that’s needed for children who are between 3-6 years old.
Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing but not rinse their mouth with water, as this will wash away the fluoride and reduces how well it works.
Do not give children more toothpaste if they eat the paste from the brush.
Ensure your child sees a dentist when their first teeth come through and regularly thereafter.