Starting out right with good dental habits from a young age can have a positive impact on the oral health of your children, so today we are focusing on children’s oral health.
Did you know that currently in Australia, only 68.5% of children aged 5-14 years brush their teeth twice a day with fluorided toothpaste? Australia’s Oral Health Tracker also reports that 34.4% of 5-6 year olds have experienced tooth decay in primary teeth and nearly a quarter of 6-14 year olds have experienced tooth decay in permanent teeth.
So, what can you do to help improve the oral health of your children? The following recommendations are courtesy of the Australian Dental Association and provide guidance and answer some questions that you might have about providing your children with the best start to keep their oral health on track. We’ll start by looking the care of the teeth of babies.
The following tips will help you give your baby great dental care from the very start:
- Clean your babies gums by very gently rubbing them with a soft washcloth.
- When the first teeth begin to appear, introduce a child-size toothbrush to clean them but do not use toothpaste.
- Visit the dentist either in the first 12 months or when the first teeth appear.
Once your child is 18 months old it’s time to introduce toothpaste. Use a child-strength fluoride toothpaste and continue with a child-size toothbrush. At this stage parents need to continue to do the brushing and flossing for your toddler. Brush twice a day. If your toddler has any teeth that are touching together then don’t forget to floss between these teeth too.
Children under 6
For children under 6 it is advised that parents should still continue to brush and floss your child’s teeth twice a day. Continue your routine with a child-size toothbrush and child-strength fluoride toothpaste, unless your dentist has recommended otherwise.
Children over 6
Now that your child is getting a bit older they can move on to adult-strength toothpaste. It is best to still assist them with their tooth-brushing and flossing twice a day until they are about 8-9 years old.
General tips and tricks for tooth-brushing time with kids
These tips may help to improve the effectiveness of brushing time for your children:
- Don’t use too much toothpaste, a pea-sized amount is all that is needed.
- Get your child to spit out the excess toothpaste but don’t rinse.
- Make brushing fun by playing a song, or download one of the many smartphone apps for tooth-brushing which also help remind your child to keep brushing for two minutes.
- Make trips to see us as your family dentist – we are very experienced at making your child’s first dental visit a positive one.
Is your child’s oral health on track? If you have any further questions about looking after your child’s teeth, feel free to contact us at any time. If it’s time to book your child in for their first trip to the dentist, click here and we will make their visit fun.