The most effective way to remove plaque from the teeth and prevent gum disease is by brushing regular brushing. A toothbrush with a small head and soft or medium bristles is recommended. Position the bristles of the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the teeth and gums, placing the end of the bristles at the point where the tooth and gums meet. With light pressure, vibrate the brush back and forth with very short strokes, keeping the same angle and position at the margin of the teeth and gums. Concentrate on 2-3 teeth at a time and repeat the process until all the front and back surfaces of the teeth have been cleaned. Finally, brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with a horizontal motion.
Parents are advised not to use toothpaste when brushing their children's teeth until the age of two years. Prior to this parents can brush their children's teeth with a toothbrush and tap water. Professional advice on the use of fluoride toothpaste should be sought where a child below two years of age is considered at high risk of developing dental decay. Children should be able to brush their own teeth when they are able to tie their own shoes, as this demonstrates sufficient manual dexterity. Parents should supervise children when brushing up to seven years of age and should ensure that only a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is used and that
swallowing of the paste is avoided. After the age of 2, an adult fluoride toothpaste can be used as studies have shown adult toothpaste to be more effective at preventing decay then children's toothpaste.