As a parent, you might be wondering when the right time is to start promoting good oral hygiene habits in your child. At Ten Dental+Facial, we believe that the sooner children start nurturing these habits, the more likely they are to develop healthy and beautiful teeth. Parents and carers play an essential role in making sure children understand the importance of cleaning their teeth and gums twice a day, and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups.
Start from birth
It’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s mouth. As soon as your child is born, you can start cleaning their mouth with a wet washcloth or cotton gauze at least two times a day, which can help remove any food remains or bacteria. All children are different and develop at different rates, but milk teeth usually start to appear when children are around 6 to 9 months old. At this point, you should start brushing your child’s teeth using water and a baby toothbrush with soft bristles.
It is also important that you take your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. The dentist will be able to assess your baby’s mouth and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Additionally, the dentist can recommend the most appropriate time for you to start using kids’ toothpaste for your child. Giving the baby the opportunity to get to know the dentist will also help reduce their fear of future visits to the practice.
Over the age of 2
Once your child is two-years-old, begin brushing their teeth with a pea-size amount of kids’ toothpaste that contains at least 1000ppm (parts per million) of fluoride to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You should make sure that your child does not rinse but spits out the toothpaste and avoids swallowing it. This way, the fluoride stays in the mouth for longer and will be more effective. You can teach your child to start brushing their own teeth but it is important to supervise them until they are at least seven.
Children should be taught to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day – just before they go to bed and at least one other time during the day. You can correct your child’s movements, if required, to prevent bad oral care habits from forming. By the age of 6, you child’s milk teeth will start falling out in preparation for the permanent teeth to appear. Children aged 7 and over should brush their teeth using a fluoride toothpaste that contains between 1,350ppm to 1,500ppm of fluoride.
Lay the foundations
Besides at-home oral care, it is vital that you take your child to the dentist every six months for a professional check-up to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy. Establishing an effective oral hygiene regime as early as possible ultimately helps lay the foundations for a lifetime of good oral health. To book an appointment for your child with one of our friendly dentists at Ten Dental+Facial, give us a call today.
For more information visit www.tendental.com or call on 020 33932623