How much toothpaste to use for children

Toothpaste for children

Children under 3 years - Smear

Children under 3 years of age should only use a smear of toothpaste.

Toothpaste for children

Children 3-6 years - Pea sized

Children aged 3-6 years should only use a blob sized amount of toothpaste. 

Start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears (usually at about 6 months of age), at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste last thing at night and on at least one other occasion

Brushing at bedtime is important as it makes sure that the fluoride continues to protect the teeth while your child is asleep

Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing and do not let them rinse out with water as this will wash away the fluoride and reduces how well it works – spit don’t rinse

How much fluoride?

Children aged 0-6 years: 1350-1500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride

Children under three years old: no less than 1000 ppm fluoride 

Children between three and six years: more than 1000 ppm fluoride

The amount of fluoride can be found on the side of the tube or on the packaging

Visiting the dentist

Take your child to see the dentist as soon as their teeth start to appear, and visit regularly, as often as your dentist recommends

Guidance from: Delivering better oral health: an evidence based toolkit for prevention

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