When to start brushing your child’s teeth

Brushing teeth early is important to promote good oral health in children. At 6 months of age you should introduce ‘tooth brushing’ even if your child has not developed teeth.

It is a good idea for children to gain positive experiences regarding their oral health early. Eventually, tooth brushing will become so natural for your child they will adopt it easily into their daily routine.

Furthermore, improper oral hygiene routines can affect the way a young mouth develops, including speech and jaw development. 

brushing baby teeth

Brushing teeth 6 months – 18 months

For children under 18 months, use only water to clean their teeth and gums. Do not use toothpaste and do not use child friendly toothpaste. However, you may instead like to use a damp cloth or an infant training toothbrush.

A training toothbrush is normally a silicone finger with soft bristles at the end. Generally, babies enjoy the new texture of a training toothbrush.

We recommend cleaning teeth after feeding or at minimum, in the morning as well as at night.

Brushing teeth 18 months – 6 years

For children between 18 months to 6 years of age they should use a soft, small toothbrush.

Place a small pea sized amount of children’s toothpaste (check age suitability on the packaging) onto the toothbrush. In addition, ensure your child brushes all tooth surfaces as well as their tongue.

brushing teeth toddler

Until your child has reached 8 to 10 years of age, they will need help with their tooth brushing routine. Read our blog post on how to brush teeth for kids in 4 easy steps.

As your child grows and becomes more independent, let them brush their teeth and follow up if they missed any areas. Tooth brushing also helps your child develop essential motor skills and allows them to have a degree of autonomy.

brushing teeth children

Brushing teeth 6 years +

From 6 years of age your child should be able to properly brush their teeth by themselves. But don’t worry if it takes your child a little longer. In some cases, children up to the age of 10 years need help from time to time.

At 6 years of age, your child will be able to use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste instead of children’s toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste helps to strengthen the tooth’s enamel layer, thereby providing extra defence from cavities and decay.

First dental check-up

The Australian Dental Association furthermore recommends taking your child to see the dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges. This is usually around 6 months old. By 12 months old your child should visit the dentist at least once to check tooth and jaw development, oral tissues and the gums.

Just like early tooth brushing routines, getting your child accustomed to regular dental visits is similarly important. For this reason, our dentists are trained in children’s dentistry and will do their best to make your kid’s visit fun. Learn more our what happens at your child’s first dental visit.

Book an Appointment

Would you like to book your child in for a dental visit? At Coastal Dental Care, our dentists are highly trained and will do everything they can to make your child’s appointment enjoyable. Contact us or book an appointment online 24/7 today!