A guide to good dental health for children

kids on a swimming pool smiling

Have you and your partner just had a baby and are curious about how you can keep their dental health in good condition?

Even though they haven’t erupted yet, your child’s mouth will need care from day one and there are many steps that you, as parents, can take to ensure that your child grows up with a healthy set of teeth and gums.

In this short guide, you are given some basic tips on how you and your children can keep your teeth healthy. Enjoy!

smiling with the dentist

Start dental care early

As any dentist Coorparoo will tell you, good dental care needs to begin before your child cuts their first tooth; just because you can’t see them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there after all!

So, to get you and your child used to you touching the inside of their mouth, take a wet, clean washcloth and rub it along their gums twice a day to remove harmful bacteria.

When their teeth do finally erupt, be sure to brush them with a toothpaste designed for infants and, of course, get them to see your local dental practitioner by the time they reach a year old or when they cut their first tooth; whichever comes first!

Check-ups!

As obvious as it sounds, a key way that you can keep your child’s oral health in good condition is to make sure they attend check-ups every 6 months.

This will allow your dental team to apply preventive measures to their teeth if needed, such as fluoride sealants. It also reduces the risk of more invasive procedures being required and can also minimise orthodontic problems.

And of course, it will also reduce any concerns that your child has about seeing a dental team. Research has found time and time again that children who are exposed to dental care early in life are less likely to develop worries and phobias about this medical profession, leading to better dental health long term.

Minimise sugar

Many parents are genuinely surprised at how many foods have sugar in them; even milk!

When you put your toddler to bed, aim to give them a bottle full of water, not fruit juice or milk, as these can cause bacteria to build up and lead to dental issues.

If your child is eating fruit (something no dental team will ever discourage) make sure they are brushing their teeth afterwards and, if your children are eating sweets regularly, aim to ensure that they are sugar-free.

Brushing

Teaching a child to brush their teeth sounds simple enough, but many parents struggle with the fundamentals, especially if they have a sensitive child.

Approach your dental team to get help in this area; they can show your child how to brush their teeth correctly and will answer any questions that the pair of you may have.

Also, always supervise children under the age of 7 when they are brushing their teeth.

Fluoride

Applied regularly, fluoride toughens the enamel on the teeth, thus making it more difficult for cavities to occur.

If you live in an area with fluoride-free tap water, ask your dental team about fluoride supplements for yourself and your children, to protect everyone’s teeth.

DISCLAIMER

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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