Did you know 50% of children under the age of six suffer from dental decay? Dental care is important right from the beginning – even before babies start teething.
When do babies start teething?
Babies normally start teething between three - nine months. We recommend that even before teeth start to erupt, you regularly wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth. This will help familiarise your child with having their mouth cleaned and eventually brushed. By the age of three most children will have their full set of baby teeth.
Are baby teeth important?
Yep – they’re natural space maintainers for your child’s adult teeth. Losing a baby tooth early could cause crowding problems later when their adult teeth erupt.
When should my child first visit the dentist?
When their first tooth erupts and definitely before their first birthday.
Is thumb-sucking bad?
It’s very normal for your child to start sucking their thumb, the motion is relaxing. As your child begins to eat solid foods, they’ll generally stop thumb-sucking on their own. If your child continues the habit into school, the position of their erupting adult teeth could be affected. If you have concerns, chat with your dentist.
Healthy eating habits
Your child’s eating and drinking habits play an important role in preventing tooth decay.
- Sticking to healthy snacks
- Avoiding frequent snacking of sugary treats
- Avoiding sugary drinks like soft drinks and juices
- Drinking water – tap water is the best drink for kids
Can my child’s baby teeth become decayed?
They sure can – in fact, they’re more likely to decay as baby teeth have a thinner layer of enamel. This means the progression of decay happens a lot faster.
How can I help prevent my child’s teeth from decaying?
Start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they erupt with a clean, damp cloth. During bath time, introduce them to brushing by giving a small soft toothbrush to play and brush with.
Clean your child’s teeth and gums with a soft small tooth brush morning and night. When they start brushing their own teeth, it’s best to supervise until they’re at least eight years old.
Fluoride is great for preventing tooth decay. Specially formulated toothpaste with lower fluoride content is recommended for children aged between 18 months - five years. From the age of six your child can start using a pea sized amount of adult toothpaste.
Regularly look inside your child’s mouth and check for any signs of possible decay. If you notice any unusual brown or white spots on your child’s teeth visit your dentist.
My dentist recommended fissure sealants, what are they?
The biting surface of molar teeth can have deep grooves that are almost impossible to clean with a toothbrush. Plaque and food debris become easily trapped within the grooves and can eventually lead to tooth decay. Fissure sealants are a hard protective coating that dentists use to seal these deep groves to prevent decay.