The first teeth that babies get are obviously going to fall out at some point but it is still important to look after them and teach your little one to look after them. The first teeth help them to chew, talk and make space for their adult teeth.

Good dental hygiene routine

Start brushing once you see the first one coming through

Lucas is 18 months and has a few of his teeth now, since he got his first one I gave him a toothbrush and let him chew on it whilst I did my teeth. I then go over his teeth once he has finished doing them himself. Getting Lucas used to do this morning and night is setting the routine for him to continue with good habits.

Use ordinary toothpaste and baby toothbrush

Lucas uses the same toothpaste as us, there are so many options available that say they are specifically for babies or children but we were told by the dentist, midwife and health visitor that there is no need to use those. As long as the toothpaste has 1450ppm fluoride it is fine for every member of the family. Lucas is now used to the minty toothpaste flavour as well rather than getting used to a fruity baby flavour then us trying to change him to mint toothpaste once older. We use a small smear on his baby toothbrush, replacing the toothbrush every 1-3 months, when the bristles start to spread. Use small, circular movements taking care with the gums as they will be very tender during teething.

Encourage them to drink water

My Mum has often joked with me how boring Lucas’ water is and why don’t I give him a little juice. Lucas does get juice occasionally but I mainly give him water. Lucas enjoys water and doesn’t know otherwise so why would I encourage sugary drinks?

Encourage healthy snacks

If you do give your child sugary snacks or drinks, give them at meal times to give their teeth time to recover. For snacks in between meals offer savoury snacks such as cheese or vegetables. Encourage them to have a cup of water after a meal to wash any sugary remnants away.

Have regular dentist appointments

Lucas has visited the dentist with me since before he had teeth as I want him to get used to the environment and hopefully reduce any issues with him not wanting the dentist to look in his mouth. This also gave the dentist chance to check his gums before his teeth came through.

Make it fun

You can get so many various timers now, Lucas had one with Thomas the Tank Engine going round a track for as long as he should brush for. You can also let them tick it off on a teeth brushing chart.



12 Comments on Tips for getting toddlers into a good dental hygiene routine

  1. Oh I didnt know they could use adult toothpaste. That’s great news as my son’s toothpaste is nearly empty. He would love using ours as he would feel like a really big boy so I know I wouldn’t have any issues getting him to use it. Thanks xx

    • Yes, we were actually told at ante-natal classes so I think it’s something the health professionals want to make sure that we don’t feel the need to spend extra on what we are told through advertising x

  2. Mums are so naughty aren’t they….my mum is always bringing little choccy treats and haribos for my kids but we hardly ever had sweets when I was little! And if your gorgeous boy likes to drink water then that’s brilliant! #FamilyFun

  3. Teeth brushing is a challenge some days in our house but I’m really strict with it. Especially if he has had lots of sweet treats like raisins or biscuits at nana’s. And I’m with you on the juice thing. #familyfun

  4. I knew about the adult toothpaste thing but found out after id bought kiddie paste so I am using that up and then he’ll have ours. It’s interesting how we don’t get told about this sooner! I only give my little water and agree why should we give something else if they cope with the water! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun. Hope you can come back next week!

  5. As Squeak gets older he becomes more reluctant to brush his teeth and purses his little mouth until I can’t force the toothbrush in anymore! I’ve learnt to lie him down in the bath and pretend it’s a game. Oddly he seems to enjoy it! Thanks for the great advice 🙂 #familyfun

  6. Ahhh this is very true, and or teeth are so so important. My little girl is now two and is fab at brushing her teeth. She only ever really has water (cruel i know) unless she is with nanny and grandad and she goes to the dentist regularly. She won’t let him look in her mouth yet but it’s all about encouraging and getting them used to it I think. It’s easier said than done though I know some kids who scream and run off at tooth brush time so perhaps we are the lucky ones! Also I didn’t know that about the toothpaste I have been buying baby toothpaste all this time! Thanks so much for linking to #familyfun. Hope to see you again next week xx

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