How do you brush a child’s teeth?

calendario 7-Jul-2017
Dra. Montañés
Specialist in Dental Aesthetics and Dental Rehabilitation

Children’s dental care is essential for avoiding cavities and preventing children’s gum problems. Proper oral hygiene requires certain habits. Paediatric dentists or dentists specialised in children establish a list of basic guidelines, such as how to brush teeth:

The toothbrush

It is important to choose a toothbrush for children with a small head, short handle and soft bristles for comfortable usage. Our dentists specialised in children recommend the first toothbrush being a manual one. Later on, when manual brushing has become habit, it is recommended to use an electric toothbrush for children; it’s more comfortable and effective.


When brushing a child’s teeth, we shouldn’t use much toothpaste, an amount about the size of a pea is enough. Remember to use toothpaste for children with that contains the correct amount of fluoride. It is recommended to use up to 500 ppm until 2 years of age. Between 2 and 6 it is recommended to increase that to 1000-1450 ppm, and from six years and up the concentration can be 1450 ppm.

When to start?

Toothbrushing for children should start when baby teeth appear and be supervised by parents until the child turns 7. This way the order, frequency and effectiveness of brushing is ensured. Later on, you can gradually decrease supervision until the children can do it independently.

The technique

Toothbrushing for a child must follow an order and a technique:
Horizontal movements are to be avoided and we recommend brushing from the gum until the tooth, or if not, circular movements for earlier ages.
We recommend children brushing three times a day for 1 minute and not rinsing their mouth out with water when finished.
It is important to brush teeth after each meal.
The most important time to brush is at night. We need to make sure it’s the last thing done before going to bed and avoiding eating foods with sugar.

We trust that this advice on how to brush a child’s teeth is useful and answers your questions. If you have any questions on children’s dental care you can ask our specialists.