Regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health.

Follow these tips and you can help keep your kids' teeth decay-free:  

Toothpaste tips 

  • Start brushing your baby's teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around six months, but it can be earlier or later). It's important to use a fluoride paste, as this helps to prevent and control tooth decay. 
  • There's no need to buy special "children's toothpaste" brands. In fact, some of them don’t have enough fluoride in them to help prevent tooth decay. 
  • Children from the age of seven can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350-1,500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Check the toothpaste packet if you're not sure, or ask your dentist.
  • Children up to the age of six who don't have tooth decay can use a lower-strength toothpaste, but make sure it contains at least 1,000ppm fluoride. 
  • Make sure children don't eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.  
  • Below the age of three years, children should use just a smear of toothpaste.
  • Children aged three to six should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste.  

Toothbrushing tips

  • Brush your child's teeth for about two minutes twice a day: once just before bedtime and at least one other time during the day.
  • Encourage them to spit out excess toothpaste, but not to rinse with lots of water. Rinsing with water after tooth brushing will wash away the fluoride and make it less effective.
  • Supervise tooth brushing until your child is seven or eight years old, either by brushing their teeth yourself or, if they brush their own teeth, by watching how they do it. From the age of seven or eight, they should be able to brush their own teeth, but it's still a good idea to watch them now and again to make sure they brush properly and for about two minutes.

How to help children brush their teeth properly

  • Guide your child's hand so they can feel the correct movement.
  • Use a mirror to help your child see exactly where the brush is cleaning their teeth.
  • Make tooth brushing as fun as possible by using an egg timer to time it for about two minutes.
  • Don't let children run around with a toothbrush in their mouth, as they may have an accident and hurt themselves.

Taking your child to the dentist

  • NHS dental care for children is free.
  • Take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can help prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child's mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practise for the future. 
  • When you visit the dentist, be positive about it and make the trip fun. This will stop your child worrying about future visits.
  • Take your child for regular dental check-ups as advised by the dentist. 

Find your nearest dentist.


       Surrey CC

Contact details

Children's Centre:  01252 350225

Email: childrenscentre@ash-grange.surrey.sch.uk

Address: Ash Grange Children's Centre and Primary School, Ash Church Road, Ash, Surrey GU12 6LX - Map