Every parent wants their child to have healthy teeth, but it can be difficult to know what to do to make sure this happens, especially in the early years. Children’s teeth are more prone to decay than adult teeth, and so it’s important to establish good habits early to avoid the distress of tooth decay. The good news is that by following a few simple steps, tooth decay is almost entirely preventable.
Top tips for healthy teeth
- Start brushing from the minute you see your baby's first tooth
Brush twice a day with a small smear of fluoride toothpaste on the brush – including once just before bed after all food and drink is finished
Brush your child's teeth or supervise them brushing until they are at least 7 years old
Spit don’t rinse after toothbrushing – rinsing washes away the fluoride that protects your children’s teeth
Use songs, games and lots of praise to make toothbrushing fun
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks, especially between meals. Fruit juice and dried fruit are also best at mealtimes rather than on their own
Milk or water are the best drinks for young children – if you’re bottle feeding, start using a free-flow beaker instead of a bottle from 6 months
Register your child with a dentist when their first tooth comes through and take them for regular checks
Growing up with healthy teeth
Watch our video on what we can do to help children grow up with healthy teeth.
Tips and guidance for brushing teeth, dental health and preventing tooth decay
Bond with your baby and give them the best start - whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding
Watch HENRY videos with healthy start tips and ideas