Our top tips for looking after little teeth02 September 2015 | Children's healthy teeth, Hygiene, Toothbrushing, Smiling
When it comes to looking after children's teeth it takes a little bit of know-how to help them develop healthy habits so we’ve put together our top tips for children aged 0-6 years.
- Limit sugary and acidic drinks to meal times.
- Help children brush their teeth twice a day with a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
- Supervise brushing and make sure you help their technique. Children will watch how you clean your teeth to learn. The best way is to brush in circular motions from one area of the mouth to the next, ensuring that you 'tickle' each tooth and the gum.
- Use star charts as an incentive to keep your children brushing.
- Get your children to rinse with disclosing tablets after brushing to show the plaque they've missed.
- Give children water or milk to drink. Milk is great for calcium and bone development, although it is best not to give to children to take to bed as it does contain sugar which can cause cavities.
- Bring your children to see us as early as possible so that they can get used to the dental environment. We are happy to offer stickers, goody bags and cleaning aids to keep up the encouragement.
- Give milk at bedtime: the sugar in milk will cling to teeth and cause decay.
- Brush teeth straight after eating- this can damage tooth enamel. Brush before food or an hour after meals.
- Worry if your baby’s teeth are taking a while to come through. The first usually appears at 6 months and the rest tend to be in place by age 2. Everyone is different.
- Leave out gums- make sure you help your children brush their teeth and then their gums too with gentle strokes.
- Feed children too many foods with an ‘ose’ at the end. Fructose, glucose, etc. are all sugary components that can lead to tooth decay.
- Give up- your persistence when helping them brush their teeth will mean they understand the importance of brushing and have healthy teeth into adulthood.
- Be afraid to ask advice. We're here to help and are always happy to see our littlest patients for a visit.
Sources: British Dental Health Foundation and National Smile Month websites