Child Connection

How much toothpaste to use on your child’s toothbrush

Recently, the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council has updated its guidance to caregivers/ parents that they should brush their children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in. To help prevent children’s tooth decay it is recommended that caregivers use a smear of fluoride toothpaste (amount about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 3 to 6 years old.

Smear amount (0.125 g)
Up to age 3

Pea-sized amount (0.25 g)
Ages 3 to 6

Your child’s first dental visit

The ADA recommends that the first dental visit for your child, take place within six months of when the first tooth appears. This should be no later than a child’s first birthday. Establishing a dental connection early could provide your child with life-long healthy habits.

The first visit allows the dentist to examine your child’s mouth and check development of the teeth. The dentist and/or staff; dental assistant or dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth and provide tips for daily care, discuss teething, pacifier use or other habits. Inspect for oral problems or cavities and determine if your child is at risk for developing tooth decay. Treatment if needed will be discussed and the next check-up will be scheduled.

Good brushing habits

Encouraging your child to develop good brushing habits can lead to a lifetime of better oral health.

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Limit soda, sport drinks, and juice
  • Promote healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables

Activity Connections

Motivation to get children started for positive life-long habits. Below is a list of downloadable PDFs that educate and encourage good brushing habits for children.