Brushing your child's teeth is the most important thing you can do to keep them healthy.

Correct dental care can almost entirely prevent:

  • painful tooth decay
  • infections
  • distressing extractions

Oral health top tips

Follow our simple tips to help your child get into good oral hygiene habits:

  • start to brush your child’s teeth as soon as they appear
  • brush their teeth for them and supervise brushing until at least the age of 7
  • brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, in the morning and before bedtime
  • encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste, but not rinse
  • for children under 3 use a smear of toothpaste; for those over 3 use a pea-sized blob
  • try to reduce the amount of sugar your child consumes
  • sugary drinks are particularly harmful to teeth, so encourage your child to drink milk or water
  • use sugar-free medicines where possible
  • register your child with a dentist and take them for regular checkups - remember, NHS dental care is free for children
  • your dentist can paint fluoride varnish onto your child’s teeth to strengthen and protect them, and it’s free – ask your dentist for details

Search for a local NHS dentist

Fun children's oral health resources

Helping your child to brush their teeth can be a challenge, but it’s worth persevering; you can make a game of it, or use a fun tooth brushing app!

Download Brush DJ

Download our ‘Superhero’ children's oral health campaign poster and leaflet.

For Early Years and Primary schools, the Oral Health Foundation provides free Dental Buddy lesson plans and resources.

Also see

Public Health

Station Rise, West Offices, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 553866