Oral Health Tips
Dental Care for Infants and Children
Great oral health begins from the moment you’re just a baby – with a little help, of course! While babies are busy developing their motor skills they are heavily reliant on you to help keep their mouths healthy and clean.
Tips for Health Baby Teeth
It’s important to establish a good oral health routine from an early age. Once a day following one of your baby’s feeding times we encourage you to use a clean damp, soft cloth (face washer, gauze), wrapped around your finger, to gently wipe clean your baby’s gums.
Also start to familiarise your baby/toddler with drinking water. Be sure to cool the water after boiling it, so that it is sterilised, and avoid adding fruit juice or other flavourings. Juice contains additives that are high in sugar and acid which can stimulate the bacteria in your child’s saliva and cause it to pool in their mouth – this can lead to early childhood dental decay.
Early Childhood Dental
You’ve navigated your way through the terrible two’s and the toddler stage, and now it’s all about helping your child keep that good oral health care routine. By the age of three they should have most, if not all of their primary/baby teeth. Don’t be concerned if they don’t, they could be a late bloomer which is perfectly normal.
Oral Health Routine
Their oral health routine will still need your assistance until around the age of 7 or 8 but it’s a good idea to supervise them once you hand the reigns over to them. Think of yourself as their oral health coach. Teach them the correct ways to brush and floss and set a good example by doing it with them.
Children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing. Toothpaste designed for children has a lower level of fluoride and therefore is safer if they swallow any. It’s also a great idea to get your children involved in picking their toothbrush and toothpaste to build a little excitement around their oral health routine.
When should I take my child to the dentist?
Begin visits to the dentist early! To help support a positive relationship with the dentist start familiarising your child by taking them along to your own dental appointments. They may choose to sit on your lap or become more acquainted with the dental environment. Even encourage them to have their own teeth looked, normally by the age of 1.
Other times at which your child should visit the dentist is if you notice any of the following changes:
White, mottled patches along the gum line
Red, puffy or bleeding gums
A change in the colour of a tooth if they aren’t teething (could be a result of trauma (knock, accident or bump)
Discharge from around a tooth