Oral health is incredibly important at every age, and it’s essential to give your child a good start when it comes to oral hygiene and habits. Children’s dentistry covers care of the entire mouth, including gums, lips and of course, teeth. There’s a lot to learn when preparing your child for teething, brushing and their first visit to a family dentist. Our team has answered the most common questions asked by new parents and offered some helpful tips to guarantee your child a healthy smile!
When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time?
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends seeing a dentist when your baby’s first tooth appears (generally between 6 to 10 months), or they turn 12 months old- whichever comes first. Your child’s first visit with one of our family dentists will be comfortable and pain-free, and our friendly team will ensure future visits are not feared.
Why see a dentist when my child only has one tooth?
While a dental check-up may seem unnecessary at such a young age, as mentioned, your child’s oral health extends beyond just their teeth. These initial visits are important for the early detection of dental conditions. In addition, it’s helpful for your toddler to become familiar with the sights, sounds and smells of our dental practice.
When should toddlers start brushing teeth?
Even if your toddler only has a couple of teeth, it’s important to keep them clean to prevent bacteria build-up and tooth decay. As soon as the first tooth appears you can start the tooth brushing regime. Promote the habit of brushing twice daily at an early age, and your child will continue to do so for life.
How do I clean my toddler’s teeth?
Before your baby starts teething, you can gently wipe their gums with a soft, damp cloth twice daily. This will allow your child to become comfortable with the sensation and will make the transition to brushing a lot easier.
Once teeth begin to appear, switch to a soft children’s toothbrush and use water only to brush.
During your first few visits, our team will assist with the best brushing techniques and will advise you on which products to use. Here are some tips for brushing your toddler’s teeth:
• Stand or sit behind your child facing a mirror so they feel secure & you can see their teeth clearly
• Cup your child’s chin
• Angle the toothbrush bristles towards the gum
• Brush back and forth on chewing surfaces and in circular motions to clean gums, outer and inner surfaces of the teeth
• Gently brush your child’s tongue
• Once your child is using toothpaste, you can encourage him/her to spit it out but there is no need to rinse
Once your child is around 2 years old, they can begin taking over the responsibility. However, we recommend supervising your child’s tooth brushing until they’re at least 8 years old.
When can my child start using regular toothpaste?
Continue to brush with only water until your child is 18 months old. You can then start using a pea-sized amount of children’s specific toothpaste. Your kids can use normal toothpaste with fluoride once they’re less likely to swallow. Your dentist will advise when it’s appropriate to do so at one of your child’s routine check-ups.
If you have more questions on children’s dentistry, or you’d like to make an appointment for your toddler’s first visit, contact our team of family dentists today. We’re excited to assist with your child’s beautiful and healthy smile!