Teeth brushing for Children

Poor dental health affects more than just your child’s teeth; along with the pain it can cause, it also impacts their overall wellbeing, learning and social interactions.

A quarter of five-year-olds suffer from tooth decay.


It can sometimes be frustrating and even quite the challenge to get children to brush their teeth! But we all know how important dental health and hygiene is, which is why promoting this from an early age can form the habit and prevent future problems.


Dental problems that are left alone and untreated can mean time off nursery/school and have an impact on the early years' development that is so important for your child. Working toward a good understanding of caring for teeth will greatly benefit children, so how can we encourage this habit?


Explain the importance of teeth brushing and dental health to your child, there are books you could read together or popular children’s cartoons that visit the dentist. Get your child to look at their teeth in a mirror and familiarise themselves with their teeth. Teach them how important it is to keep them clean and healthy.


Create a visual example for children by taking some pebbles or small world toys and covering them in glitter (wet the objects first for an extra stick!)

Encourage your child to use a toothbrush and water to brush away all the glitter like how they would their teeth. Set a two-minute timer and brush, brush, brush!


Make it a routine for morning and evening, twice a day without fail, to ensure their teeth are well looked after consistently.


Lead by example; brush alongside your child with the timer to encourage the full two minutes of brushing. Show them how you brush your teeth, making sure that they’re cleaned well- remember the glitter on the pebbles? That was hard work and our teeth need the same care and attention to keep them healthy.


Develop the habit early and show off your smiles!


The NHS has stated;

It's important to use fluoride toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay.


Children aged up to 3 years

  • Start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later).

  • Parents or carers should brush or supervise toothbrushing.

  • Brush teeth twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Brush last thing at night before bed and on 1 other occasion.

  • Use children's fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.

  • Use only a smear of toothpaste.

  • Make sure children don't eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.

Children aged 3 to 6 years

  • Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.

  • Brushing should be supervised by a parent or carer.

  • Use children's fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.

  • Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

  • Spit out after brushing and don't rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won't work as well.

Children aged 7 and over

  • Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.

  • Use fluoride toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm of fluoride (check label).

  • Spit out after brushing and don't rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won't work as well.

Children aged 7 and over should be able to brush their own teeth, but it's still a good idea to watch them making sure they brush properly and for about 2 minutes.



For more information and fantastic advice, please check the NHS website here by clicking here.

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