Tips on how to clean your baby and child’s teeth.
You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they begin to appear. This will help protect them against tooth decay and helps get them used to having their teeth brushed.
You need to help your child to brush their teeth until they are old enough to do this themselves, usually until around seven years old.
Brushing your baby’s teeth
Brush your baby’s teeth twice a day using a children’s toothbrush and a small smear of family toothpaste with fluoride in it.
Children’s toothbrushes have very small heads and soft bristles. They may be available to buy from:
your dental surgery
a large supermarket
How to brush your baby’s teeth
The easiest way to brush a baby’s teeth is to sit them on your knee with their head resting against your chest.
Then brush the teeth in small circles, covering all the surfaces of the teeth.
Brushing your baby’s teeth will get your baby used to teeth brushing as part of their everyday routine.
You can also set a good example by letting them watch you brushing your teeth.
Brushing your child’s teeth
You will need to help your child brush their teeth until they are at least seven years of age. It is important to keep helping them to ensure they are brushing their teeth correctly.
When brushing your child’s teeth, you may find it easier to sit or stand behind your child and gently hold their chin. This should allow you to get at both their top and bottom teeth.
Brush your child’s teeth twice a day, including before your child goes to bed.
Try to get into a regular toothbrushing routine. This will help your child when they start to brush their teeth on their own.
Use a pea-sized amount (for all children aged 3 years and over) of fluoride toothpaste and a brush that has been designed for children.
Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing, but avoid rinsing with water afterwards as this can stop the fluoride working
Teach your child the best way to brush their teeth before they start to clean them on their own.
The best way to clean teeth is using gentle round movements on each individual tooth, then around the back and other side of each tooth and gently along the top on the gum line.
Encourage your child when they brush their teeth well, so they keep it up.
Try brushing your own teeth at the same time, so they can copy and learn.
When your child first starts to brush their teeth on their own, check regularly to make sure that they are doing it right.