Your child’s first dental visit should be between the eruption of the first tooth and his or her first birthday.
Brush your children’s teeth until they are around three years old, then start encouraging them to join in. Supervise their brushing until age eight.
Children under four should use a simple brushing technique - such as a small, circular brushing motion.
Choose a children’s toothbrush with a small brushhead and soft bristles.
Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Teach your child to rinse and spit out any toothpaste left after brushing.
Healthy teeth are key to a healthy childhood. Children need them for chewing, speaking clearly, and having a bright, confident smile. With the advances in dentistry and oral care products, today’s children are more likely than ever to grow up with strong, healthy teeth. As a parent, you play an important role in your child’s dental health. In fact, good oral care begins with you. It is especially important to keep your child motivated about caring for their teeth, and don’t forget to praise your child after cleaning for clean teeth and a healthy smile!
Usually, your baby’s front four teeth (two at the bottom, two at the top) are the first to appear sometime between six months and their first birthday.
At around three years old, most children should have a complete set of primary (or baby) teeth. It is very important to take good care of these first teeth, even though they will be replaced by permanent teeth.
Your child will start to lose their baby teeth around the age of six. This process of replacing primary teeth with permanent teeth occurs until the age of 12 or 13. The unevenness caused by having larger permanent teeth growing next to smaller primary teeth means there are lots of spaces for food and plaque to collect between teeth. So it is particularly important to clean the teeth well to prevent bacteria building up on the teeth and left to cause gum disease.
Children tend to eat more frequently and have not yet become experts at brushing their teeth. It is vital that their teeth are brushed with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, and that help is given in brushing the areas they might have missed on their own. Giving them healthy snacks will also help keep them free of cavities.
Start by cleaning the chewing surfaces using short back and forth strokes. For the outer tooth surfaces, place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the gumline. Move the brush back and forth in short, gentle strokes. To clean the inner front tooth surfaces, hold the brush vertically and use gentle up-and-down strokes with the tip of the brush.
Make sure the gumline and back teeth are cleaned thoroughly.
Replace your child’s toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first.