Brushing your kids' teeth

Why brushing kids' teeth is so important from an early age.

As adults, we all know what we should be doing when it comes to being healthy. The messaging is there, and we try our best, so what do the things that we always do have in common?


The habits that we form when we are young are those that see us through to adulthood and are the ones that often form the basis for healthy habits which we have throughout our lives. With our kids, we want to pass on healthy habits to them, so they know how to take care of themselves.

This is one of the many reasons that brushing teeth is so important from an early age. As soon as your baby has their first teeth through, it is time to start helping them to brush them.

Get them used to having the toothbrush in their mouths to start with. A quick brush, with a smear of toothpaste, is easy to put into their routine, morning and night, as soon as that first tooth peeps through.

Over time, they can start to brush their teeth themselves. Have them hold the toothbrush and try to brush themselves to start with. You can always finish the brushing for them, taking it in turns to brush their teeth. Show them how to brush, they should be brushing all the surfaces of their teeth, inside and out, for around 2 minutes.

Often getting them to brush their teeth for 2 minutes can be hard. There are many free apps you can get for a smartphone to countdown the time for them, using a favourite character or song, or you can play music for them encouraging them to brush until the music stops.

Children don’t need a different toothpaste that is made for kids, they can use a family toothpaste that has around 1,350 to 1,500 ppm fluoride. For children under 6, they can use a lower fluoride toothpaste if they have no tooth decayThe lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure., and for children under 3 just smear of toothpaste is needed.

Habits are not made in a day, encouraging your children to brush their teeth everyday, helping them with brushing and talking to them about dental health will build these habits over time to give them the best start.

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Please note that this article is for patient information purposes only. The information provided is based on guidance available at the time of writing, which may subsequently change. Please consult your own dentist with any individual queries.

Child with tooth brush

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