About children’s teeth
Baby teeth can arrive in any order. All 20 baby teeth usually arrive by 3 years. Start cleaning teeth as soon as they come through. Use a small, soft toothbrush or a clean, damp face washer to clean baby gums and all sides of each tooth.
The 32 adult teeth replace baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 20 years. Supervise and help clean children’s teeth until 8 years. Brush teeth and gums twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before bed.
Brushing teeth: getting started
Under 18 months, use only water for cleaning teeth. From 18 months to 6 years, use a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. From 6 years, use a pea-sized amount of adult fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft, small child’s toothbrush.
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 or even lie babies and toddlers on your lap.
Brushing teeth: steps
Using small circular motions, brush all sides of each tooth and the gums. Brush backwards and forwards on all chewing surfaces.
When brushing is finished, your child should spit out leftover toothpaste, but don’t rinse out their mouth. Rinse the brush, and put it somewhere clean to dry.