Dental Health for Children under 3 Years Old

What can I do to keep my child’s teeth healthy? (for children under 3 years old)

Did you know its advised to start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through? Help give your baby the best start by looking after their teeth by following the following guidance:

  • Parents or carers should brush or supervise toothbrushing.
  • Brush teeth twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and on 1 other occasion.
  • Use children's fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
  • Use only a smear of toothpaste.
  • Make sure children don't eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.
  • Weaning foods should ideally be free from, or low in added sugars
  • Make sure you take your child to the dentist.
  • If your baby needs to take medicine ask for the sugar-free version.

For more information have a look at the A guide to looking after your baby's teeth that covers:

  • Milk teeth
  • Teething
  • Tooth brushing
  • Tooth decay
  • Weaning
  • Cups & bottles
  • Dummies & thumb sucking

If you are concerned about your baby’s dental health, please seek advice from your Health Visitor, Doctor or NHS Direct.

To find an NHS dentist in your area visit: and type ‘find a dentist’ in the search box