Toothbrushing should be an essential part of your bedtime routine
Children love a routine!
A healthy bedtime routine should incorporate brushing your child’s teeth, reading together and setting a regular bedtime.
Top tips for tooth brushing:
Children’s teeth and gums should be cleaned at bedtime and at one other time of the day. You will need:
- A small headed toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Fluoride toothpaste. You only need to use a tiny smear of toothpaste for children under 3 years, a pea-size amount is needed for anyone over 3 years.
- No water! Children should be encouraged to spit out excess toothpaste or you should regularly wipe their mouth.
- Time and patience! Bedtime toothbrushing is not only the most important but it could be the most fun! Try to not rush toothbrushing, instead be creative! For more tips download the Bedtime for baby teeth leaflet.
6 steps for successful storytelling:
- Read a story every night
- Take your time
- Children love to hear your voice
- Point out things in the story
- Be brave and use different voices and facial expressions
- Remember the child can’t read so don’t be frightened to change the story
The Oral Health Foundation have written 6 story books:
- I’ve got a wobbly tooth
- Oops I’ve forgotten my toothbrush
- Going to the dentist
- Brush, Book and Bed with Buddy the bear
- Brushing Teeth with Buddy the bear
- Buddy’s first trip to the dentist
The secrets to sound sleep
- Limit screen time, dim the lights and close the curtains before bed.
- Babies love repetition so a routine will help them to predict it is night time.
- A bath before bed can help to calm and prepare for sleep.
- Try to put children in bed awake to allow them to self-settle to sleep.
- But remember growth spurts, teething and illness can impact on sleep.
Quality sleep is essential for children’s growth and development. For sleep advice see The Sleep Council.