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Brushing Teeth

Information for Parents

Helpful tips for parents to promote toothbrushing at home

Even if your child has joined a supervised toothbrushing programme at their nursery/school, it is still important for your child to brush their teeth at home. Here are helpful tips on how to brush your child’s teeth at home:

  • Brush all surfaces of the teeth and gumline in small circles for about 2 minutes, just before bedtime and another time that fits with your routine.

  • Children under 3 should use a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride.

  • Children aged 3 and over should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm fluoride. Use a toothpaste containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride for maximum prevention.

  • Most ‘own brand’ supermarket toothpastes are suitable and more affordable.

  • Encourage the child to spit out the toothpaste. Do NOT rinse with water. Rinsing washes away the fluoride so it can’t do its job.​

  • The parent/carer should assist with brushing until the child is at least 7 years old.​

  • The parent/carer should sit the child on their knee or stand behind them and cradle their head while brushing.​

  • Allow babies to play with a toothbrush from an early age, they will get used to the feel of it in their mouth.​

  • Children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disability) may need opportunities to play and explore with a toothbrush to encourage them to use it as described, allow the child to touch their face with it, use different tasting toothpaste to try and find one your children like. 

Useful resources regarding children’s oral health, including BSPD resources that developed in different languages, are available by clicking the buttons below. Wider oral health resources can be found here.





Thank you for Wakefield Council Oral Health Team for using their resources

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