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Childrens' oral health

Advice on how to care for children's teeth.


We will normally see children for regular check-ups of their teeth after their second birthday. If you are concerned about some aspect of their dental health when they are under this age, please discuss this with the receptionist. Most children are seen at six-month intervals to assess their developing teeth and to ensure any problems are caught early.

The Department of Health has issued new guidelines regarding toothpaste use in children. They now recommend that under the age of three all children should be using 1,000 parts per million (PPM) fluoride toothpaste and over the age of 3 they should use adult strength toothpaste. They also suggest:

  • from 6 months of age infants should be encouraged to drink from a cup. From the age of 1 year feeding from a bottle should be discouraged
  • sugar should not be added to weaning foods
  • parents should brush or supervise toothbrushing up to the age of 7 years
  • as soon as teeth erupt into the mouth brush them twice a day. Ideally last thing at night and one other time
  • the child should spit out the toothpaste but not rinse
  • children under 3 should have no more than a smear of tooth paste on their brush. For those under the age of 7, no more than a pea sized amount
  • sugar-free medicines should be used whenever possible
  • consumption of sugary food and drinks should be reduced and limited to mealtimes
  • sugars should not be consumed more than four times a day
  • if your child is wearing a brace they should use a fluoride mouthrinse daily (0.05% NaF) at a different time to brushing. They should also consider using a oscillating/rotating power toothbrush

If you are unsure how much fluoride is contained in your toothpaste, it is written on the side of the tube or packet. It may be in two forms - sodium monofluorophosphate and sodium fluoride. The total fluoride content is the sum of the two added together in parts per million.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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