Dental decay is the most common cause of kids teeth problems, but the good news is that with good dental care, it can be avoided. Teaching good oral health habits can save your child’s teeth from unnecessary decay and help them to have teeth that last a lifetime.
Important Points To Know About Your Child’s Teeth
The baby teeth usually make their appearance by the time your child has reached the age of three. Children generally start losing their teeth between the ages of six and 12. That means, by the time children reach the age of 12 most, if not all, permanent teeth will have emerged.
Even though baby teeth do fall out in time, they still need to be cared for. Your child’s permanent teeth are waiting in the gums and any decay can compromise the development of the adult teeth. Taking care of your child’s baby tooth looks after their adult teeth and can help you to avoid common kids teeth problems later on.
Caring For Your Child’s Teeth
While the baby’s teeth are emerging, from the age of around six months, you need to show your child good hygiene habits. When your baby only has a tooth here and there, and they are very small, you will probably find it easiest to brush them with your finger. This is important because you are showing your developing baby the importance of keeping his or her teeth clean, a habit that can prevent common dental problems later on in life.
Once your child is a bit older and perhaps more independent, you can upgrade to a baby’s toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Until the age of six, you will use low fluoride toothpaste as younger children tend to swallow toothpaste.
Good Dental Hygiene Practice To Avoid Dental Problems For Children
Build Good Habits
Just like adults, children need to brush and floss each tooth twice a day. This is a lifelong habit that needs to be learnt and passed down to help your child avoid the most common dental problems throughout life. Even when your child has mastered the art of holding the toothbrush it is a good idea to be present until at least the age of eight years, in case your child needs help with oral health.
Teach The Correct Technique
We all need to brush for at least two minutes, and we need to take care to give each and every tooth individual attention. This means brushing the front and back, as well as flossing between them.
Your role is to show your child how to hold the toothbrush at the correct angle to the gum line, and not to skip a tooth.
When teaching a young child it is a good idea to do it in front of the mirror so the child can see what is going on.
Don’t forget to teach your child to brush his or her tongue. The tongue can harbour plenty of bacteria that can cause infections and bad breath and should be brushed as part of your dental health routine.
Flossing is another skill that needs to be mastered, and your child needs to be taught how to do it to avoid the most common kids teeth problems.
While a manual toothbrush can remove the same amount of plaque from your child’s tooth when used correctly, many parents find that an electric toothbrush makes it a more pleasant experience.
Visit The Dentist Regularly
So many adults have traumatic experiences from visiting their dentist because of problems with dental caries. Normalise your children visiting the dentist for check-ups so your child learns not to fear their dentist or put off important dental work.
Regular visits to the dentist every six months also keeps a watchful eye on your child’s teeth development, so any early signs of cavities or other problems with the mouth can be picked up and dealt with early on.
- Don’t encourage sugary treats just before bed. Sweets and sugar can cause decay at night.
- Don’t allow your baby or toddler to fall asleep at the bottle, and especially do not fill the bottle with sweetened drinks as this can accelerate decay and cause common dental problems.
- Let your baby or toddler observe you brushing and flossing twice a day. Children mimic what they see their parents doing.
If you have concerns about your kids’ teeth problems and need guidance from a trusted family dentist, it’s time to make an appointment: (02) 8203 8760.