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Cleaning Children's Teeth

publication date: Mar 19, 2015

Children brushing teeth

The British Dental Health Foundation emphasises that by the age of two and a half years, children should be having regular dental check-ups. Any budding oral health problems can be spotted early. Here are their top tips for cleaning children's teeth.

  • Ensure cleaning your baby’s teeth is a daily hygiene routine.
  • As a parent you may find it easier to stand or sit behind your baby, cradling their chin in your hand so you can reach their top and bottom teeth more easily. When the first teeth start to come through, try using a children's toothbrush with a small smear of toothpaste. Once all the teeth have come through, use a small-headed soft toothbrush in small circular movements and try to concentrate on one section at a time.
  • Make sure children brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Up to three years old should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million).
  • After three years old, they should use a toothpaste that contains flroride 1350ppm-1500ppm.
  • Encourage them to spit out the toothpaste and not to swallow any if possible. If they do not rinse after spitting the fluoride will remain in the mouth for longer and give the best protection against decay.
  • Supervise your child's brushing until they are at least seven, and encourage them to brush as soon as they get up in the morning and the last thing at night.
  • Frequency of snacking and consumption of sweets, sugary foods and drinks in unhealthy quantities is a problem. Cheese, breadsticks, nuts and raw vegetables are great. Raisins and sultanas are not a healthy snack for teeth as they are high in sugar and as they are sticky this stays in contact with the teeth for longer.
  • Regular dental check-ups are essential from as young as possible, take your dentist’s advice on how often your child should visit. 

For further information on diet or on children’s teeth please visit British Dental Health Foundation.