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When should I take my Child to the Dentist?
Children should go to the dentist regularly with their parents as soon as possible.
This will let them get used to the noises, smells and surroundings and prepare them for future visits. The earlier these visits begin, the more relaxed the children will be.
When will my Child's Teeth come through?
Baby teeth have usually developed before your child is born and will start to come through at around 6 months. Usually 20 baby teeth should be through by the age of 2. The first permanent 'adult' molars (back teeth) will appear at about 6 years of age. All permanent teeth should be in place by the age of 13, except the wisdom teeth. These may erupt any time between 18 and 25 years of age.
All children are different and develop at different rates.
How should I Clean my Child's Teeth?
Cleaning your child's teeth should be part of their daily hygiene routine. You may find it easier to stand or sit behind your child, cradling their chin in your hand so you can reach their top and bottom teeth more easily. When the first teeth start to come through, try using a children's toothbrush with a small smear of toothpaste. It is important to supervise your child's brushing until they are at least seven. Once all the teeth have come through, use a small-headed soft toothbrush in small circular movements and try to concentrate on one section at a time. Don't forget to brush gently behind the teeth and onto the gums. If possible make tooth brushing a routine preferably in the morning, and last thing before your child goes to bed. Remember to encourage your child, as praise will often get results!
Should I use Fluoride Toothpaste?
These can all help to prevent tooth decay. All children up to 3 years old, should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm-1500ppm. You can check the level of fluoride on the packaging of the toothpaste.
Children should be supervised up to the age of 7, and you should make sure that they spit out the toothpaste.
What sort of Brush should Children use?
The toothbrush to use is a small-headed toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles, suitable for the age of your child.
What could cause my Child to have Toothache?
The main cause of Toothache, especially in children, is still tooth decay. This is due to too much sugar or acid, too often, in the diet.
Teething is another problem which starts at around 6 months and can continue as all the adult teeth start to come through.
How can I Prevent Tooth Decay in my Child?
To prevent tooth decays you need to cut down the frequency of sugar foods and drinks taken in their diet. It is therefore important to keep sugary and acidic foods to mealtimes only. If you want to give your child a snack, try to stick to cheese, vegetables and fruit.
Thorough brushing for two minutes, twice a day, particularly last thing at night, will help to prevent tooth decay.
Sam & Glenda is part of the team and she is an Oral Health care education professional. Her role is to educate parents and children on diet, brushing techniques and oral health products such as toothpastes. She is a valuable asset to the team and has a wonderful ability working with the children.