For parents -

Make toothbrushing a part of your child's morning and bedtime routine.

Use a brush with a SMALL head and soft bristles

Toothpaste MUST contain fluoride - use a smear for babies and a "garden pea" size for older toddlers and preschoolers. Try not to let the paste be swallowed.

Brush gently using short strokes and angle the bristles towards the gums. Cover all the surfaces. Have the child spit only when finished - rinsing with water removes the fluoride too.

It is normal for older toddlers and preschoolers to want to brush themselves but at this age they cannot do it correctly. Don't make an issue out of it - find another way. For example, let them brush first and you finish off! Supervised brushing should continue until around age 7.

Key Messages -

Fluoride toothpaste

brush twice a day

spit don't rinse

Good habits learnt as a child will stay with them - teach them to brush twice a day!

These key messages follow through into adulthood and should be combined with effective plaque removal to minimise gum disease (periodontitis) - read more about this in the "Healthy Gums " section of General Dentistry.

We're all happy to help - just ask !!