Healthy Teeth, Healthy Children

It is important for your child to get a good start in life. In order to learn new things, your child needs to feel healthy and strong. Preventing tooth decay will help your child’s progress and promote good overall health.

0 – 6 months

  • Clean gums and teeth with warm water and gauze.

6 months – 2 years

  • Clean teeth and gums with a soft children’s brush and warm water. Their first tooth comes around 6 months old.
  • Introduce your child to a dentist just before their first birthday. The earlier a child starts visiting the dentist for preventive visits the better the chance of avoiding dental problems. Introduce a fluoride toothpaste from two years old as recommended by your dentist.

2 years – 7 years

  • Use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste (1450ppm) on their toothbrush.
  • Use a flavourless toothpaste or a flavour that suits your child.
  • Spit out, do not rinse out and do not let them swallow their toothpaste.
  • Bring your child to the dentist once a year.

Good Brushing Techniques

  • Use a soft bristle brush with a small compact head. Hard bristles can injure gums and wear down tooth enamel.
  • Brush at a 45 degree angle and use a gentle scrubbing technique.
  • Brush the outer, inner and biting surface of each tooth, including the part close to the gum line.
  • Use the front tip of the brush for the inner surface of the front teeth.
  • Replace their toothbrush when the bristles look bent or worn. A change every two to three months is fine, unless your child is biting down a lot on it, then change it more frequently.

Choosing the right toothbrush for your child!

Do not forget to assist your child with brushing each morning and each night. Very young children will often use modelling behaviour and try to imitate the behaviour of parents brushing their teeth. Try and make tooth-brushing time FUN! There are apps you can download, songs you can sing and games you can play with your child to encourage them to brush for at least two minutes. There are also many varieties of toothbrushes available to keep them entertained. You can even let them choose their own one. Electric toothbrushes are very popular with children and are very effective. Ask your dentist for advice in relation to choosing the correct one.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

This is a severe decay usually involving multiple teeth in infants/young children. This can start when sweetened liquids including milk, formula, fruit juice etc… are left clinging to an infant’s teeth for long periods. The bacteria on the teeth are able to continually produce acid and this results in dental decay spreading very quickly through the teeth. A bottle given at night time should only contain boiled cooled water. Top Tip – a child should be fed and put to bed but not put to bed and fed.

Grinding Teeth?

Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common habit in young children and usually disappears on its own as children grow older. Teeth grinding usually takes place when baby teeth arrive and again when the permanent teeth begin to come down around the age of five or six. Stress has been identified as a cause in some children. An important tip is to try and relax your child as much as possible before bedtime.

It is important to start a dental routine with your child from an early age. By taking care of your oral health, you are setting a good example for your child. How you care for your child’s teeth will affect their ability to learn and to grow up healthy. By encouraging a good oral health routine, you will help keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong and give them a smile to treasure for a lifetime.