Family • Wellbeing • Adventure

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Little smilers: Tips on caring for your children's teet

From cutting their first tooth to then losing it – your children go through a lot when it comes to their teeth! But with child tooth decay on the rise and many children under 5 having rotten teeth removed, oral hygiene has never been more important for your little one. So here you’ll find a few top tips on keeping your little one’s teeth clean and healthy.

Taking your child to the dentist

Firstly, NHS dental care is completely free. And you should take your child to a reputable dentist, like Dockland Dental as soon as their milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can help prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child's mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practise for the future.

Always try to make a trip to the dentist fun. Be positive about the trip and remember that most dentists give their patients a big sticker for completing their appointment!

Toothpaste Tips

A regular cleaning routine is essential. Start brushing your baby's teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around six months, but it can be earlier or later). It's important to use a fluoride paste, as this helps to prevent and control tooth decay.

There's no need to buy special "children's toothpaste" brands. In fact, some of them don’t have enough fluoride in them to help prevent tooth decay! Below the age of three years, children should use just a smear of toothpaste and children aged three to six should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste.

Toothbrushing Tips

Brush your child's teeth for about two minutes twice a day: once just before bedtime and at least one other time during the day.

Encourage them to spit out excess toothpaste, but not to rinse with lots of water. Rinsing with water after tooth brushing will wash away the fluoride and make it less effective.

Supervise tooth brushing until your child is seven or eight years old, either by brushing their teeth yourself or, if they brush their own teeth, by watching how they do it. From the age of seven or eight, they should be able to brush their own teeth, but it's still a good idea to watch them now and again to make sure they brush properly and for about two minutes!

Helping your child to brush

Guide your child's hand so they can feel the correct movement. Use a mirror to help your child see exactly where the brush is cleaning their teeth. And always try to make tooth brushing as fun as possible – standing still to clean your teeth is pretty boring by any child’s standards! Try using an egg timer to time it for about two minutes, or maybe play a song on your smartphone to pass the time!

K Elizabeth xoxox

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR CHILDREN AND BABIES TEETH

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