6 steps for brushing teeth with your child

Children need an adult to assist with thorough brushing until they are 8 or 9 years old. Let them have a turn and then Mum or Dad have a turn to ensure teeth are clean.

Teeth can be brushed twice daily with fluoride containing toothpaste. A small, soft bristled brush is ideal for children. Regular daily flossing can start as soon as two teeth are in contact.


Step 1

Place the brush at an angle on the outer gumline with the bristles facing towards the gum. Wiggle gently back and forth, repeat for each tooth.



Step 2

Then brush the inside of each tooth using the same wiggling technique as in Step 1.



Step 3

Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth using a backward and forward motion.



Step 4

Use the tip of the brush behind each front tooth both top and bottom.



Step 5

Gently brush the tongue and gum line.



Step 6

Teeth can be flossed regularly once two teeth are touching. Use waxed floss tied in a circle. Ask your child to lie down and open wide, and floss between all teeth that are touching.

For upper teeth, have the child extend their head right back.

Thanks to Colgate and the NZ Dental Association's Healthy Smiles for their contributions.

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