Children’s teeth are extremely important to look after and protect for their general health and wellbeing. It is important to visit the Dentist from as young as two years of age to detect any problems. Visiting the Dentist at an early age helps children become used to having their teeth checked and preventing problems visits later!
It is also important that we assess for early development problems and check the growth and development of the teeth
When do baby teeth erupt?
The first tooth usually comes through at six months of age in the lower front area. Teething can sometimes start earlier at three months of age or as late as twelve months of age.
When and how should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
You should start to clean your baby’s teeth as soon as you can. This way they will be used to having their teeth cleaned before the first tooth arrives. Use a cloth or a baby toothbrush that fits on your finger to wipe your baby’s gums before bedtime. It is very important to clean your child’s teeth before they go to bed as like adults, most of the damage to teeth occurs while you are asleep.
Children should use the toothpaste for their recommended age and make sure your child does not swallow the toothpaste.
Once children become interested in a toothbrush, usually at eighteen months it is worth giving them one. However, it is advisable to help brush their teeth at night until about the age of eight, as most children lack the hand skills to brush properly. Children’s teeth need to be brushed twice daily.
It is very poor practice to put infants to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, the sugars and acids in the liquid will cause very fast decay!
When should I take my baby to the Dentist?
When you go to the Dentist take your baby with you so they become used to the sights, sounds and goings on. This will make it easier for their check up.
What age should my child have their first visit?
At least by the age of two, as 20% of all two year old children have decayed teeth. However, if your child is younger and has a cavity or had an accident then they should come immediately.
The earlier the visit helps the child relax at the Dentist making it easier if they need any dental work performed in future.
How do I prepare them for their first dental visit?
Make it a fun adventure and tell them the Dentist is going to count their teeth and check their smile. They may even polish them to make their teeth shiny and pretty.
Do not pass on any anxiety or fear about how you feel at the dentist or any horror stories. Today’s dentistry is much better than what you would remember from your childhood and is rarely scary or painful.