Good oral hygiene should begin at an early age. Teeth need to be cleaned properly on a daily basis because germs or bacteria in your mouth grow on teeth and around the gums every day. If you keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy every day you will avoid problems like tooth decay, toothache, bleeding gums, yellow teeth and bad breath.
A few quick tips for children’s dental care:
You can introduce a soft children’s toothbrush from 12 months (earlier if tolerated by the infant) and just use water.
We recommend you start using toothpaste from 18 months.
Brush your child's teeth at least twice a day (morning and before bed) to remove plaque that can cause infant tooth decay and gum disease.
Signs that your child's teeth are not being brushed correctly are:
Red and swollen gums
A furry white film over the teeth (plaque)
6 steps for how to brush your child's teeth correctly (18 months to 6 years):
Smear a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste onto a soft children's toothbrush.
Sit the child in your lap, facing away from you, or stand behind taller children. Tilt the child's head back against your body so you can see all the surfaces of the teeth.
Angle the bristles of the toothbrush towards the gum. Move the brush in gentle circles to clean the outer sides of the teeth and gums.
Brush in gentle circles on the inside of the teeth and gums for approx. 2 minutes.
Brush back and forward on the chewing surface of the teeth.
After brushing all the surfaces, encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste.
Don’t forget their tongue! While brushing and flossing remove bacteria from teeth and gums, as much as 50% of the bacteria in the mouth live on the surface of our tongue. And it’s this bacteria that can be one cause of bad breath.
When to take them for their first visit
Patients often ask us, when should we take our child for their first visit? The answer is usually, earlier than you think!
Just because your baby doesn’t have a full set of teeth doesn’t mean they are not at risk. As a general rule, you should book an appointment with your dentist when your baby’s first tooth becomes visible or they reach 12 months old, whichever comes first.
Seeing the dentist for the first time is a momentous occasion! It is a milestone in your life as a parent and should be remembered, just like a first hair cut or the first time you visit Santa together. Take photos and write about the experience. Either you’ll get a lovely first memory to reflect upon or some great material for their 21st birthday!
It’s also an opportunity for you to learn. Use this visit to become well informed about your child’s oral health and to help form good habits that they will thank you for later in life.
The team at Carlton Dental look forward to taking care of you and your family’s oral health and want to help you all to achieve healthy teeth and gums for life!
Book your appointment today, call 03 9347-2033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.