Dental care for your child
Your child's first teeth, also called primary teeth, usually appear through the gums at about 6 months old. Up to 3 years of age, all of your child's 20 primary teeth should appear. Problems such as baby tooth decay, teething irritations, gum disease, and prolonged thumb sucking are best diagnosed early so the dentist can provide or recommend special preventative care.
It is important to detect any problems in growth and oral health as soon as possible. Well cared for baby teeth are critically important for future dental health. Early visits also gets them used to having their teeth checked, relieving any problems of visits as they get older. We recommend kids have their first visit to the dentist at around 12 years of age.
Dental Care for babies and toddlersBabies and toddlers are at just as much risk of developing dental decay so it is important to establish effective oral hygiene habits early.
Once your babies’ primary teeth are visible it is advised to introduce a tooth brush with a small soft head with rounded bristles and to gently massage their teeth and gums. There are tooth brushes specifically designed for children. Recommended low fluoride toothpastes have been developed over the years for younger children.
Your children will most likely need your help with brushing their teeth until they are about 8 years old.
Tips for brushing are as follows; move the toothbrush gently in small circles to clean the front surfaces of the teeth. To reach the inner surfaces tilt the toothbrush. Brush the biting and grinding surfaces of the back teeth with a firm back and forth motion. Always be sure to clean all surfaces of the teeth.
2 minutes is the recommended brushing time that you should aim to achieve over time.
Flossing helps remove the decay that causes bacteria in between the teeth. It is ideal to get your child use to having their teeth flossed, this may take time, however if you aim for twice a week to start with.
Having regular dental visits will assist in maintaining their oral health care through their progression from childhood into adulthood.
Information on this page has been taken from the Australian Dental Association Inc. www.ada.org.au