It’s never too early to begin introducing good dental care habits. As adults, we’re hopefully all aware of the importance of our dental health and it’s contribution to our overall health. However, it can be a bit more difficult for children to understand and manage on their own.
For good oral health in adulthood, we need to develop these good dental care habits when we’re young – even at the very beginning, when our teeth first start to emerge. Obviously, as a baby, this will require the help of parents and carers.
As soon as a child’s teeth appear, they need to be brushed – but, even before this, you can start caring for and cleaning your baby’s gums. This can be done twice each day – after a morning feed and before bed, at night – by wiping the gums gently with a clean, soft, damp cloth or gauze. Once the teeth begin to emerge, you can continue wiping the teeth and gums with a soft cloth, or start carefully brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water.
At around 18 months you can start to introduce the use of a low-fluoride toothpaste – starting with a pea-sized amount. At this stage, just encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste following brushing, but avoid rinsing. This will allow the small amount of fluoride from the toothpaste to remain on the teeth for a longer period, which helps to prevent decay.
As your child gets older, you can begin to encourage them to take part in brushing their teeth. Allow them to have a go, then you can go over them again to ensure that all surfaces have been cleaned.
Children are more capable of taking more responsibility of brushing their teeth at around eight years of age – it is around this age that children have better developed the necessary fine motor skills. It is wise, however, to continue to supervise them until you are confident that they are able to do it on their own.
For further advice on how to give your children’s teeth a healthy future book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists at Moss Vale Dental. We believe in maintaining oral health through good dental care habits, preventing any issues from arising so that you and your family can have beautiful, healthy teeth for life! Call us at Moss Vale Dental today on (02) 4869 3111.