In Australia, tooth decay in children is on the rise. Children aged 5 to 10 years have an average of one and a half decayed, missing or filled baby teeth. So, it’s more important than ever to teach your child good oral health habits that will stay with them for life.
Many babies will start teething at around three months old and you will usually see the teeth cut through the gums between six to nine months old. Babies do develop at different rates, so they may be seen sooner or later depending on your baby. It is important to start looking after your child teeth as soon as you see the first tooth come through. You can clean their teeth by using a very soft toothbrush with water or by using a soft cloth and wiping the teeth. At this very young age, toothpaste is not needed just yet.
Once your child is 18 months old you can start brushing their teeth with a very soft toothpaste and a children’s toothpaste. It is important to use a children’s toothpaste as they have lower levels of fluoride in them. Children aren’t able to spit out as well as adults and they can sometimes swallow the toothpaste which is why they needs lower levels of fluoride int their toothpaste. It is important that you clean your child’s teeth for them or help them to do it until they are old enough to competently o it for themselves, if you let them brush by themselves too early they will miss a lot of areas and won’t be cleaning properly.
Here are some tips for helping keep your child’s teeth clean.
- Help your child to brush their teeth from the time they get their first tooth until they are 7 or 8 years old. After that, supervising them is still important. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day, using small circular motions. Their teeth should be cleaned after eating and before bed.
- Use toothpaste with fluoride that is suitable for children. This can help to strengthen the outside of the teeth and prevent decay.
- Make sure your children brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
- Try to get into a regular tooth brushing routine, and give your child plenty of praise when they brush their teeth well.
- Replace toothbrushes or toothbrush heads every 3 months.
- Children should floss as soon as they have 2 teeth that touching each other. You should supervise flossing until they are about 10 years old.
- To develop strong teeth, make sure your child eats a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid foods with a lot of added sugar, such as lollies, biscuits and soft drinks. Always choose fluoridated tap water if that is an option.
It is also very important for children to have regular six monthly check ups with their dentist. Their first check up can be as soon as they have their first teeth present (around 1 year old). Not only is it good to have their teeth checked at this age to ensure the health of their teeth, it also helps the child get used to going to the dentist and creates a positive experience for them so that they enjoy visiting us. Children can also be eligible for the governments Child Dental Benefit Scheme, to find out mor about this go to Services Australia or call Medicare on 132 011.
If you need to book your kids in for their check up and clean, please call us at DentaCross Rothwell on (07) 3204 9322 or book them in online via the link below!