Cleaning Babies Mouth
Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth from an early age, before their teeth appear. This helps prepare your baby for toothbrushing. Clean your baby’s gums with a clean, soft, wet cloth after feeding and before bed. Start brushing baby teeth with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste as soon as they appear.
Everyone in your family can use the same regular strength fluoride toothpaste. Regular strength toothpaste contains a minimum of 1000 ppm of fluoride.
Look at the ingredients list on the toothpaste packaging. Choose a toothpaste that has either
1000ppm of fluoride or
0.221% sodium fluoride or
0.76% sodium monoflurophosphate
It is important that a tooth brushing routine is established from an early age. Involve the whole family as role modelling by caregivers can help children to develop tooth brushing skills.
Building a toothbrushing routine
Helping children brush their teeth
It can be challenging at times to find a position that is comfortable for caregivers when helping a child to brush their teeth. Caregivers may find it more comfortable sitting infants on their lap or standing behind older children.
How to brush teeth
When brushing teeth it is important to brush all the tooth surfaces ( top, bottom inside, outside and the tongue). It can be helpful to focus on brushing one tooth at a time. It should take around 2-3 minutes to brush all the teeth surfaces. You should begin flossing children's teeth once two teeth are touching.
To find out more about toothbrushing and flossing watch these video clips.
- Brushing children's teeth (Ministry of Health / Video)
- Toothbrushing steps for children 6 years and over and adults (Video)
- Toothbrushing (Animation / Colgate / Video)
- Flossing (Animation / Colgate / Video)
Toothbrushing Tips And Tricks
Try a toothbrushing chart. Use non-food rewards like a new toothbrush or family activity.
- Change the setting
Brush teeth while children are reading a book, in the bath or playing a quiet game.
- Let them do it
Let children have a turn brushing first and then you "check" and finish cleaning teeth.
- Use technology
Try an electric tooth brush or a toothbrushing app such as The Wiggles or Brush DJ.
- Make if fun
Sing a song or even dance. Try a timer. Don't be afraid to get silly.
- Change the toothpaste
Some children don't like strong mint flavours. Try a mild flavoured toothpaste.
Toothbrushing Charts and Posters
- Toothbrushing Poster (Colgate)
- Flossing Diagram (ADA)
- Rewards And Goal Planning Chart (HealthyKids)
- ChildSmile Toothbrushing Chart
- Brush Teeth With The Wiggles – Apps on Google Play
- Brush DJ on the App Store (apple.com)
- Brush DJ - Apps on Google Play
- My Bright Smile on the App Store (apple.com)
- My Bright Smile - Apps on Google Play
- The Wiggles : Brush Your Teeth 😁 Healthy Me!
- Brush to the Beat : Learn To Brush Your Teeth with Mickey
- Sesame Street : Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me: Brushy Brush
Watch this video by the Bee Healthy Regional Dental Service which shares toothbrushing hacks for preschoolers.