Health & Safety

Dental Health

Brushing teeth: getting started

1

Under 18 months, don’t use toothpaste. From 18 months to 6 years, use a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. From 6 years, use a pea-sized amount of standard fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft small child’s toothbrush.

2

Sit or stand behind your child in a brightly lit place, ideally in front of a mirror. This lets your child see what you’re doing. It’s easier to sit toddlers on your lap.

3

Use your free hand to support your child’s chin. Ask her to open up and say ‘ah’. Check for any signs of decay, such as a white or brown line on the teeth close to the gums. Check for plaque build-up on teeth around the gum line.

Brushing teeth: steps

4

Using small circular motions, brush all sides of each tooth and the gums. Brush backwards and forwards on all chewing surfaces. Take the most care with the back teeth.

5

After you’ve finished brushing, your child should spit out any leftover toothpaste, but don’t rinse out the mouth. Rinse toothbrush, and put somewhere clean to dry.

6

Avoid giving your child sugary snacks or drinks, especially between meals. Avoid giving your child a bottle of milk, formula or juice in bed. Always take away bottles after feeding.

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