Brushing is the most effective method for removing harmful plaque from your child's teeth and gums. Getting the debris off their teeth and gums in a timely manner prevents bacteria in the food they eat from turning into harmful, cavity-causing acids.

Start cleaning your baby's teeth at birth, using a soft infant toothbrush and water. Use a small piece of wetted gauze or a washcloth to wipe away plaque on your infant's teeth.

As soon as your baby's first teeth erupt, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a grain of rice-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste. Encourage your child to spit out - not swallow - excess toothpaste after brushing.

By the age of 4 or 5, your child should be able to begin brushing his or her teeth alone. Children under the age of 2 should only use a grain of rice-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste, and children from 2-6 years old should only use a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste on their toothbrush and should spit out as much as possible. â€‹The reason for this is that children are most sensitive to higher levels of fluoride.

Most dentists agree that brushing two times a day is the minimum; in the morning and before bed at night. After brushing at night, children should only drink water before going to sleep.