It’s important to brush your child’s teeth twice a day to establish a good dental routine. Register with a local NHS dentist for free dental care.

Looking After Your Toddlers Oral Health

A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health. Follow these tips and you can help keep your kids' teeth decay-free.

Toothbrushing Tips for Children aged up to 3 years

  • It's important to use a fluoride toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay.
  • 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 the teeth.
  • 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) unless a dentist advises 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.

Taking your child to the dentist

NHS dental care for children is free. You should take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist.

The dentist can advise you on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child's mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practice for the future.

When you visit the dentist, be positive about it and make the trip fun. This will stop your child worrying about future visits. It's important that you take your child for regular dental check-ups. 

Click here to find your local dentist

For more information on looking after your child's teeth click here 

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