Feb 08, 2022 - minute readminutes read

How And When To Brush My Child’s Teeth

The foundations of a healthy mouth in adulthood are laid in the early years of kids life. 


Teaching children about good oral care habits and getting them familiar with the dentist will go a long way it comes to their long-term oral health. Like with most things, success depends on developing the right habits and getting started early. The younger they start, the easier it’ll be!

BABY 0-2

Regular brushing is the best way to take care of your baby’s milk teeth, start laying the foundations for good future brushing habits and good oral health. Contrary to popular belief, milk teeth require attention and care, even if they are “placeholders” for permanent teeth. 

They have thinner enamel than adult teeth making them more fragile and more prone to decay.  Regular brushing prevents bacteria and plaque from forming and protects your baby’s teeth against cavities. Maintaining milk teeth in good health is essential for the development of permanent teeth if left unchecked, the cavities formed in milk teeth can affect adult teeth.

To brush your baby's teeth, we recommend you sit him/her on your knee, with his/her head resting against your chest. Gently brush his/her teeth in small circles. Repeat this twice a day, preferably after breakfast and before bed. Before bed is particularly important because bacteria are undisturbed and able to grow freely during the night, due to inactivity and low salivary flow. 

In areas your baby doesn’t have any teeth yet you can clean his/her gums with a piece of gauze soaked in lukewarm water or physiological saline solution. This can be done once a day, preferably before bed time. It is always best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking, even breastfeeding, to prevent enamel erosion. 

We recommend starting off with a specially-adapted toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles that will better fit into baby’s tiny, delicate mouth. We suggest trying our GUM® BABY Toothbrush. This brush features a small, cushioned head and super soft bristles. To help you easily brush your baby’s first teeth, we designed it with a long handle! 

We recommend starting to use fluoride toothpaste no sooner than age 3. Make sure you choose a toothpaste with an age-adapted fluoride concentration. Ask your dentist or hygienist when is a good time for your child to start.


Brushing your toddler’s teeth regularly is super important. Good, regular brushing is the only way of protecting milk teeth from plaque and decay. Maintaining milk teeth in good health is essential for the development of permanent teeth and to avoid other oral health problems. 

Getting your child used to brushing twice a day is also a great way of laying the foundations for good, future toothbrushing habits. The earlier they start, the more likely children are to stick to a good toothbrushing routine as they get older. 

To brush your toddler’s teeth:

  1. Stand behind them and tilt their head backwards.
  2. Brush all tooth surfaces including the area around the gum line where food and bacteria like to hide.
  3. To clean the outer surfaces, use circular motions.

4. For the biting surfaces, brush back and forth.

5. To clean the inner surfaces, use a sweeping motion from the gum to the tooth, holding the brush vertically.

6. Make sure your toddler spits the toothpaste out at the end.

Make sure you brush for two minutes, twice a day, ideally after breakfast and before bed. Brushing just before bed is essential because the because the bacteria that cause plaque can grow freely during the night.

By age 3, most children will have developed enough dexterity to do some brushing alone. It’s a good time for them to start getting familiar with independent brushing. Show your toddler how to brush and let him/her have a go. Make sure you always brush your child’s whole mouth afterwards as they won’t be able to do it properly on their own. You should carry on doing this until your child has developed enough dexterity to be fully independent usually around 7 years of age but it can be a few years later depending on the development of each child.

Whether you’re still doing the brushing or your toddler is now brushing alone, we recommend using an age-adapted toothbrush. Good brushing starts when you’re having fun so pick out a brush that captures your child’s imagination!

Our jungle-themed GUM® KIDS Toothbrush is designed with lots of great features for the daily brushing of toddlers 2+. Its small, cushioned head will fit perfectly in your little one’s mouth and protect his/her delicate gums and teeth. Its soft, dome-trimmed bristles are ideal to gently and effectively clean milk teeth. This brush has an anti-slip handle for your little one to hold easily when getting started. If you’re never sure how much toothpaste to use, you’re going to love our toothpaste indicator. Our brush also features a practical suction cup so you can easily leave it standing by the sink. Discover more special features and our fun colours here. 

For your toddler, it’s important to choose an age-adapted toothpaste with the appropriate fluoride concentration (1000 ppm fluoride ions). We recommend using toothpaste from age 3, when your toddler is able to follow your instruction to spit it out. Experts recommend fluoride as it helps to strengthen and protect enamel from decay. 

Our GUM® KIDS Toothpaste is formulated with 98% natural ingredients and just the right amount of fluoride and isomalt to help prevent cavities and strengthen your child’s enamel.  Last but not least – it has a great-tasting strawberry flavour that your little one will love. Remember to use the toothpaste indicator on our GUM KIDS Toothbrush a pea-sized amount is all you need!


Children can usually start doing some brushing alone from age 3. To make sure they get a proper full mouth clean, you should still brush their whole mouth afterwards. It is recommended you do this until they have developed enough dexterity to be fully independent usually around 7 years of age but it can be later depending on the child.

 Just make sure you observe how your child brushes and keep brushing afterwards for as long as this is needed. Remember to brush for 2 minutes twice a day, after breakfast and before bed using a pea-size amount of toothpaste and brushing in circular motions. Brushing just before bed is essential because the bacteria that cause plaque are undisturbed during the night and can grow freely.

As your child becomes more independent, regularity is super important to help keep up good brushing habits. Make sure your child brushes for two minutes twice a day, using the roll technique. Turning it into a little “ritual” that you repeat at the same time every morning and evening can help build the habit. 

We encourage you to let your kid's have fun while brushing (so long as it doesn’t get in the way of the actual toothbrushing). You could invent a toothbrushing dance or put on some music for 2 minutes. 

We even have a toothbrushing song and story for you! Remember good brushing starts when you’re having fun! Get helpful tips on how to establish good brushing habits in children here

For children 6+, we recommend you choose an age-adapted toothbrush. Good brushing starts when you’re having fun so pick out a brush that captures your child’s imagination! Meet the GUM JUNIOR Toothbrush  designed with fun characters and educational features for the daily brushing of children 6-9.

With a small, cushioned head, soft bristles and a toothpaste indicator, it’s a great brush for your child to get familiar and comfortable with independent brushing. Its dome-trimmed bristles are specially designed for plaque removal. Thanks to an anti-slip handle, your child will find it super easy to use no more slipping! It also comes with a practical built in suction cup so your child can leave the brush to stand once the 2 minutes are up. Discover more features here. We also have a great, educational GUM LIGHT-UP Toothbrush for children who need a little incentive to brush for the recommended time. It also features soft, dome-trimmed bristles and a practical suction cup. 

We recommend you opt for an age-adapted fluoride toothpaste with the appropriate concentration of fluoride (1450 ppm fluoride ions). Fluoride is an essential ingredient as it helps to strengthen and protect enamel from cavities and tooth decay. However, in excess, it can cause discolouration of the teeth, known as dental fluorosis. 

Our GUM® JUNIOR Toothpaste is formulated with 98% natural ingredients and just the right amount of fluoride and isomalt to protect and strengthen your child’s enamel. Cherry on the cake it has a sweet strawberry aroma that’ll have your child brushing in no time! Remind your little one to use the toothpaste indicator on his/her GUM JUNIOR Toothbrush only a pea-sized amount is necessary.

Your child can start rinsing once a day from age 6. Rinsing adds another level of fluoride to strengthen and protect enamel and covers areas your toothbrush and toothpaste couldn’t clean. Remember to explain to your child that he/she should rinse for at least 30 seconds before spitting the product out. We recommend rinsing in the evening before bed to avoid any liquid consumption afterwards. 

The GUM JUNIOR Mouthrinse is formulated for the needs of young mouths. It is formulated with 93% natural ingredients and CPC (Cetylpyridinium Chloride) to help fight plaque. Just like our toothpaste, it tastes of delicious strawberry. 

JUNGLE FUN and a job well done

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