A young child enthusiastically brushes their teeth.

Simple Guide to Brushing Your Child’s Teeth at Any Age

As your child grows, their dental needs will change as they develop more teeth. Here is an easy guide which will help ensure that you are taking care of your child’s teeth the best way you can as they grow.

Before their First Tooth


Your baby’s mouth should be cleaned to remove any bacteria after every meal and before bed. To clean your baby’s mouth, dampen a soft washcloth with warm water and gently rub their gums.

Their First Tooth

You can use a very soft toothbrush instead of the washcloth to clean their baby teeth. Using a toothbrush gets rid of harmful bacteria and allows your child to become used to the sensation of brushing. The best toothbrush to use will have very soft bristles, a large handle for easy maneuverability, and a small head that will comfortably move around your baby’s mouth.

When the first tooth is above the gum line, you may use a grain of rice amount of children’s toothpaste with the moistened toothbrush. Make sure to clean all around your child’s tooth or teeth, making sure to cover every side.

One Years Old

Regardless of whether or not your child has a dental issue, they should see the dentist. Your dentist will ensure that their mouth is being properly cleaned and that there are no concerns with their oral health. He or she will also be able to give you advice tailored to your child’s specific needs.

Three Years Old

Your child can now start using a pea-sized amount of children’s toothpaste on their toothbrush. At this age they should be preparing to take over their own dental hygiene but will still need you to brush their teeth, for now.

When They can Hold the Toothbrush

Once your child is comfortable holding the toothbrush on their own, can easily move it around their own mouth and do not need assistance spitting into the sink, they are ready to start brushing their teeth on their own. Allowing them the independence to take care of this task themselves is an important step, however, it is still advised that a parent monitor them during their dental routine to ensure they are doing it correctly.

When They can Write

By the time your child is old enough to know how to write, they should be ready to brush their teeth on their own without supervision. Occasionally, you may want to check up on their dental routine as children can forget to brush their teeth or rush through the activity when distracted.  

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