By the time most children are around two and a half years old, they will have all of their baby teeth. They will only be replaced by around six or seven years old, when the first secondary teeth start to come in.

Tooth decay is fairly common among preschoolers, with as many as 50 percent of five year olds having at least one cavity. Good dental hygiene is therefore very important.

By the age of two, you should be brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. Use a soft, small, child’s toothbrush, and toothpaste that is specially formulated for kids. This has added fluoride, which helps to protect the enamel on the teeth, and prevent tooth decay.

Use only a very small amount of toothpaste, as it’s inevitable that some will be swallowed – and too much fluoride can cause permanent mottling of the teeth – and be bad for little stomachs! A pea sized blob on the brush should be more than enough.

Some children will not like the taste of toothpaste, so use water only if you must, or try other brands until you find one that he or she does – it’s the brushing that’s important!

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