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Big smiles

Did you know?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in drinking water and many foods. It plays an important role in your child’s oral health by strengthening their tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay.

  • 1.Brush every surface using a soft, small-headed toothbrush. Using small, circular movements, try to concentrate on one section at a time.
  • 2.Encourage children to spit out excess toothpaste, but avoid rinsing their mouth with lots of water; this will wash away the fluoride and reduce its ability to prevent tooth decay.
  • 3.It is essential you brush your child’s teeth for at least two minutes twice a day: once just before bedtime and at least one other time during the day.
  • 4.Brushing before bed is particularly important. When your child is awake, saliva helps to keep their mouth clean. When they’re asleep, however, they produce much less saliva. If you don’t brush your child’s teeth before bed, the bacteria you leave can easily damage their teeth during the night.
  • 5.Never brush children’s teeth straight after a meal – always wait at least an hour. Because acid in food and drink softens tooth enamel, brushing straight after a meal can actually wear the enamel away.
  • 6.Are you seated correctly? When brushing your child’s teeth, you may find it easier to stand or sit behind them, cradling their chin in your hand. Another way is to sit behind your child and rest their head in your lap. This allows you to reach the top and bottom teeth more easily.
  • 7.We all know children like to copy things. Brushing your teeth in front of your child can encourage them to brush theirs too.
  • 8.There are a number of ways to make brushing more fun. Brightly coloured brushes, ones that change colour, ones with favourite characters on the handle, and even ones that play a song all encourage children to brush their teeth.
  • 9.Encouragement is essential. Praising your child when they let you brush their teeth is often a great way to get results!
  • 10.Two minutes too long for them? Try a timer or a timed toothbrush. They offer a fun way to ensure your child brushes for the full two minutes. For extra encouragement try a toothbrushing chart. You can reward your child with a smiley face every time they brush for the correct length of time.

Did you know?

Acid attacks your child’s teeth, but fluoride reduces the amount of acid bacteria can produce - and even helps to reverse the damage this acid causes. The addition of fluoride to water has been proven to reduce tooth decay by 40-60%.

Providing NHS Dentistry