Adults need to brush their children’s teeth as children under the age of seven or eight are too young to brush properly. It is also important to be a good role model and have your children see you brush and floss daily.
Brush the teeth with fluoride toothpaste two times a day, as soon as teeth erupt
Use a small, soft toothbrush
Pull the lip and cheek aside with a clean finger to see better
Brush where the teeth and gums meet
Use small back and forth movements
Brush the inside, the outside and the top of the teeth
Visit a dental professional to learn when to start flossing and to get more information on mouth care.
Fluoride is a proven way to strengthen teeth for all ages. It is a mineral that occurs naturally in some private water systems and wells. There is no fluoride added to the Vancouver Coastal Health water supply, so fluoride toothpaste is recommended as soon as teeth come into the mouth.
Wipe baby's gums with a damp cloth daily before teeth come in
When baby's teeth start to appear, brush with a toothbrush
Make brushing part of a daily routine
Let children choose a favourite small, soft toothbrush to use
Find a flavour of fluoride toothpaste that your child likes
Sing a song, tell a story or play music while brushing
Praise your child for letting you brush for them
Let children practice brushing on their own but always have an adult finish brushing
Try the knee-to-knee technique shown in this video to make brushing easier
Healthy eating habits help keep your child's teeth healthier. Sipping drinks and eating all day long may cause tooth decay.
Teach children to use an open cup as soon as they can hold their head up
After 12 months of age, offer milk and limited juice from the cup when your child is sitting and eating meals or snacks
Offer water when your child is thirsty between meals and snacks
Offer children three meals and two to three planned healthy snacks a day
Follow Canada’s Food Guide
Take your child to see the dentist by 12 months of age. Regular dental check-ups can help prevent tooth decay.
Dental sealants are coatings placed in the grooves of the back teeth to prevent tooth decay. Ask your dentist about dental sealants for your child.
Some children lose their first baby tooth around age five or six
Some baby molars do not fall out until about age 12
Permanent first molars come in around age six before baby molars fall out
Tooth decay in baby teeth may spread to adult teeth