Children need their teeth brushed twice a day, once after breakfast and once before bedtime. Use a soft-bristled brush as well as toothpaste with fluoride. You only need a very small amount of toothpaste; it's really the brushing that does the job, not the paste.
Some children don't mind getting their teeth brushed, some hate it, and some want to do it themselves. Whatever the situation, most children are happy to do some of the job themselves. If your child wants to brush his own teeth, let him, but then do another brushing for him to make sure his teeth have been brushed thoroughly enough. Tell him that the two of you are taking turns. Once he has had his turn, you can make sure his teeth are brushed properly.
Fair's fair. If necessary, you may need to let your child brush your teeth. Show him that you enjoy the process and that you trust him to do a good job. When he's finished, show off your nice clean pearly whites.
Brushing is very important for young children. Even though they will lose their baby teeth, cavities are painful and can cause problems in adult teeth that haven't yet come in. Cavities are also likely for children who inherit the tendency toward unhealthy teeth. If you notice holes in your child's teeth or if your child complains about pain in his mouth, take him to a dentist to have his teeth checked.
If your child chips or hurts a tooth, bring her to the dentist immediately. Try to bring the tooth with you in a cup of milk, because milk has nutrients the tooth's root cells need to stay healthy. A dentist can also make sure there is no damage that might cause problems with your child's adult teeth.
The number-one thing you can do to prevent cavities is to brush your child's teeth carefully after meals and before he goes to bed. What really hurts teeth is leaving foods, including milk or juice, in the mouth for long periods of time (such as overnight). It used to be thought that cavity-prone teeth and bleeding gums were unhealthy in and of themselves; now, however, dentists and researchers believe that some people's mouths don't fight bacteria as effectively as they should, which is what leads to mouth problems, including cavities. Brushing and rinsing are important.