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Toddler Teeth

How can I keep my toddler’s teeth clean?

Cleaning your toddler’s teeth should be part of their daily routine, although you may need to be persistent. You can gradually give him more responsibility for the brushing as time goes on, but you'll still need to supervise him.

  • Clean your toddler’s teeth twice a day, including once before bed.

  • Use a small toothbrush with soft, round-ended bristles of differing lengths, and a small, angled head. Change the brush at least every three months, or when the bristles start to spread out.

  • Use a smear of low-fluoride toothpaste for your toddler.

  • Brush using small, circular movements. Don’t saw from side to side, or up and down, as this may damage his gums.

  • Concentrate on one section of teeth at a time, and don’t forget the backs. Make sure you clear all traces of food from on or between his teeth.

  • Encourage your toddler to spit out any excess toothpaste, but don't rinse his mouth with water. This can wash away the excess toothpaste, reducing the benefit of the fluoride.

The taste and texture of toothpaste is very important at this age so choose one they like the taste and feel of. Remember, many babies, toddlers and young children cannot tolerate strong flavours, including mint.

Here are some tips to use fluoride toothpaste correctly:

  • Always use the correct toothpaste for your toddler's age, unless advised otherwise by a dental professional.

  • Babies and toddlers tend to swallow toothpaste so only use a SMEAR of toothpaste. This way they won't swallow too much fluoride.

  • Spit out toothpaste after brushing but don't rinse. This way fluoride stays in the mouth, next to teeth where it can continue doing its job.

  • Don't allow babies or toddlers to eat toothpaste.

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