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.
The 32 adult teeth appear between 6 and 20 years. Clean your child’s teeth and gums twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before bed.
Brushing teeth: getting started
Use a soft, small child’s toothbrush. Under 18 months, use only water for cleaning teeth. From 18 months to 3 years, use a smear of low-fluoride toothpaste. At 3-6 years, use a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. From 6 years, use a pea-sized amount of adult fluoride toothpaste.
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. Brush for 2 minutes.
When brushing is finished, your child should spit out leftover toothpaste, but they don’t need to rinse out their mouth. Rinse the brush, and put it somewhere clean to dry.