Top of the page
It's best to start good oral health habits before permanent teeth come in. Some tips on dental care for a child include the following:
Although some children quickly learn to brush their teeth, others do not. If you are having trouble getting your child to brush, try some of the following suggestions.
You can also involve your child in dental health by letting him or her pick out a toothbrush and toothpaste. Talk to your dentist about the type of toothbrush your child needs, and steer your child in that direction. When choosing a toothpaste, stay clear of tartar-cleaning toothpastes, as they may taste bad or "sting" a young child's mouth. Ask your child if he or she likes the toothpaste, and change it if this is not the case.
Your child can learn how to brush his or her own teeth at about 3 years of age and should be brushing his or her own teeth morning and night by age 4. Parents should supervise and check for proper cleaning.
By 8 years of age, your child will probably no longer need your help. It is important that your child make brushing a habit, as this limits tooth decay and helps prevent cavities.
Set a good example. Children imitate their parents. If your child sees that you don't brush, don't seem to enjoy brushing, or do it too quickly, he or she might well do the same.
Adaptation Date: 8/19/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.