Top tips for getting your kids to brush their teeth

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Getting children to listen can be difficult – particularly when it comes to brushing their teeth.

But is does not have to be a chore. 

Expert advice

Here dental hygienist Amber Ojak has shared her top tips for getting children to brush.

  1. Disclosing tablet magic – disclosing is one of the best ways I have found to interact with kids. I have toys and models in my room and I will put the disclosing solution on these to show the kids what happens first, and then they seem a lot more relaxed! They love having the ‘purple monster tongue’ and I find this really breaks down the barrier with them and gets them engaged!
  2. Coming down to their level – I find using the models and demonstrating brushing is an excellent tool for helping kids. I come down to their level and make sure to have very open body language when I’m explaining oral hygiene instruction. I find this relax’s children as it stops there being a power divide!
  3. Motivation and encouragement – I get children to demo how to brush back to me and get them to bring in their own toothbrushes as well. I tell them how good a job they are doing and rewards like stickers are fabulous! You can get tooth brushing charts also which really help motivate them as they can tick these off when they complete their brushing.

Regular tooth brushing is essential for a child's good health. According to the NHS, for children aged up to 3 years: 

  • Start brushing a baby's teeth as soon as the first break through
  • Brush twice daily for around two minutes
  • Use fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride
  • Only use a small smear of toothpaste
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.

For children aged 3 to 6 years old: 

  • Brush twice a day for around two minutes with fluoride toothpaste
  • Brushing should be supervised 
  • Use fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride
  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste
  • Spit out after brushing and do not rinse afterwards
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.

For children aged 7 or older:

  • Brush at least twice a day for two minutes with flouride toothpaste
  • Use fluoride toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm of fluoride
  • Spit out after brushing and do not rinse afterwards
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.

Find a nearby practice : Periodontal Treatment

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