How to keep your child’s teeth healthy in 2022
Healthy teeth are a key part of your child’s overall health. Bad oral health can cause infections, diseases and other dental problems.
But we know it’s not always easy to get children to brush their teeth.
We look at how parents can help keep cavities away.
Establishing a good oral care routine early will set your child up to maintain good dental habits as they grow. Even though baby teeth fall out, it’s still important to take care of them because tooth decay can deform the mouth.
You can start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through. Even before they come through, it’s a good idea to wipe your baby’s gums after each feed with a warm cloth to remove excess milk or food.
For babies, clean their teeth by using a tiny amount of baby toothpaste on a soft toothbrush. Use small circles to ensure each tooth’s surface has been cleaned.
For a toddler, ask them to sit on your knee and rest their head against your chest while you brush each tooth.
Encourage older children to have a go at cleaning their own teeth first then check that they are clean by asking your child to tilt their head back.
2. Make brushing teeth fun
Children often see brushing their teeth as a boring activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Give these tips a go and you may be surprised at how much fun your child is having.
3. Brush Together
Setting a good dental hygiene example will help children learn consistency and routine. They will also love to see mummy, daddy and siblings doing the same thing as them.
Brushing together is a great way to practice good brushing techniques and help each other to get it right. After brushing your teeth together, make lots of positive comments about how clean your teeth look and feel so your children can understand the reason for keeping their teeth clean.
4. Limit certain foods and drinks
What children put in their mouths can also affect teeth and gum health. The following foods and drinks should be given in moderation.
5. Take regular trips to the dentist
To help your child become comfortable with the noise and smell of a dental surgery, take your child to your routine appointments even if they are too young to be checked themself. Over time children will trust their dentist, reassuring them that dental appointments are not anything to be scared about. If your child is still nervous, ask your dentist to talk through all the equipment and what it does to help eliminate anxiety issues.
Tooth brushing tips for children
Still struggling with teeth brushing time? Making small changes can help.
Common questions and answers about children’s teeth
Every child is different, but you will normally see signs of a tooth coming through between the age of six and nine months.
2. What age should a child start visiting the dentist?
The NHS advises that you start taking your child to the dentist as soon as their milk teeth appear. The main reason for this is so they can get used to a dental environment.
3. Is it normal for a baby to have gaps between their teeth?
When baby teeth first emerge, they are naturally spaced out. The gaps in your child’s mouth will fill in with other teeth over time.
4. How much toothpaste should I use for my child?
This will depend on your child’s age. A tiny smear is enough for babies and toddlers and then you can increase the quantity for older children.
If you’re concerned about your child’s dental health, contact your dentist for advice.
5. What are the signs of tooth decay in children?
White or brown spots on the teeth, red gums and holes in the teeth could all indicate tooth decay, which will need to be treated by a dentist.
Fun facts about teeth for children
Let’s end with some fun, educational facts about teeth.