Family friendly dentistry
Introducing your child to the dentist at a young age will help them grow up with healthy, beautiful teeth.
It’s wise to introduce your child to the dentist as soon as their very first tooth appears (usually when they are around six months old). Even though there will be hardly any teeth for us to examine at this stage, early visits will help your child feel relaxed about attending dental appointments. You can also pick up plenty of helpful advice about tooth care for tots, including how to use dental tools and dietary advice.
Protecting young teeth
Fissure sealants can be applied to your child’s permanent teeth as they emerge (usually starting around age six to seven). This is a clear plastic coating which covers the narrow grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to stop bacteria from entering and help prevent tooth decay
Fluoride varnishes can be painted onto young teeth to help strengthen enamel and make them more resistant to decay.
Child dental care at home
As well as regular visits to the dentist, you also need to look after your child’s teeth at home.
Start dental care early by gently wiping new teeth (and gums) with a clean flannel. As more teeth come through, you can start using a soft toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste.
Age three to six
When you children are aged three, you can progress to a pea-sized amount of paste on a small child’s toothbrush. Brush your child’s teeth for around two minutes, twice a day, and especially before bedtime. Encourage them to brush for long enough by introducing a child-friendly timer.
At this age, you can introduce them to flossing as their teeth will be starting to touch each other and the resulting narrow gaps will need an effective method of cleaning.
Aged seven to eight
Supervise tooth brushing until children are old enough to brush properly by themselves (at around seven or eight years). However, even when they can clean their teeth alone, it’s probably a good idea to occasionally check they are still using an effective technique.
Keep an eye on how much sugar you child is consuming, in both food and drink, and avoid prolonged periods of bottle feeding, particularly at night.