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Dental care

Caring for Your Toddler's Teeth

It's important to brush your toddler's teeth twice a day. Good habits now will prevent tooth decay later in life. By taking good care of your toddler's baby teeth, you are also taking good care of their adult teeth.

  • Brush the tooth/teeth two times per day.

  • Use a small, soft toothbrush.

  • Use a rice grain size amount of fluoride toothpaste.

  • Give all drinks from a cup (not a bottle); only give water to drink between meals.

  • Limit the amount of sugar you give in food and drink, especially sticky sweets.

Learn more about tooth decay, why it is such a big problem and how you can prevent it.

Your toddler should already be seeing a dentist regularly. If you haven't gone because the cost is a concern, you may be eligible for basic dental care through the BC Healthy Kids Program

Tips to Keep Your Toddler's Teeth Healthy

Of course, brushing your toddler's teeth is not always easy, but it's always worth the effort! Use our tips to get the job done.

  • Make brushing part of your daily routine.

  • Let your child choose their own small, soft toothbrush.

  • Try different toothpaste flavours until you find one your child likes.

  • Make brushing teeth fun. Sing a song, tell a story or listen to music.

  • Encourage your child by letting them practice brushing on their own; praise them for letting you brush their teeth once they have had their turn.

Try the knee technique for brushing as shown in this video.


Use this resource for more information on mouth care for infants and toddlers.

For concerns about your child's dental health – contact your local public health dental program.

Learn more about toddler dental care.

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