It is crucial you get your kids to the dentist as soon as possible, so both they and you know what they have to do in today’s world of keeping kids teeth and gums healthy. Its all about forming the right habits and setting the kids up to succeed as early as possible.
This means getting your baby’s teeth cared for as milk teeth need to be healthy so the next set, the real teeth have a better chance of being strong and healthy.
We all know the basics, clean your teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bed, go to the dentist regularly and eat sensibly, not too much sugary food.
Up to 2 years
Babies are born with what is known as tooth buds and their gums cover these buds and therefore their mouths need extra special care. They should be cleaned carefully twice a day with a soft cloth.
The tooth will come through and then we need to brush the tooth with water and a very soft brush and ask your dentist when you should use a toothpaste.
Hygiene this early on is so key to protect the teeth, so use only those toothbrushes that are specifically designed for babies. And remarkably when they are 1 take them to the dentist. This will be good for the baby to understand the dental process and help with the fear factor.
2 years and above
At 2, toothpaste should be used and it should contain fluoride, which will assist in fighting off bacteria. Only use a small amount and ensure it is all washed out after you finish. And the baby should be assisted with a soft cloth to clean out the fluoride.
Wait until they become at least 3 before they start using a toothbrush alone. And the correct toothbrush is key here as well.
No thumb sucking or dummies before 3, or it will be an issue with the teeth and mouth. Too much thumb sucking will lead to complications. After 3 years they should go to the dentist twice a year as this will help spot issues early.
6 years and above
This is when those lovely milk teeth begin to come out and the next set grow through, actually pushing the milk teeth out. It is a good idea to talk to your child as this can be scary, so the fairy that brings money for teeth needs to be introduced at this stage.
And not just teeth falling out but now you have to floss the new ones to keep them clean and protect them. Kids aren’t good at this game, so need help and support as this is very important. And you should keep doing this until they are at least 8. This is to make sure they are cleaning their teeth correctly and brushing for long enough as we all know they will get out of doing it if they can, which isn’t great at this stage. The teeth at the side need attention especially as plaque grows there and they can’t get their toothbrush there easily, so it won’t get done properly.
And at 6 the molars come through and therefore more fluoride is needed in the toothpaste to protect them.
8 years and above
OK, now the little munchkins should know what to do and when they are ten, they should be on their own and good to go with brushing and hygiene. We need to ensure they get and use the right toothbrush and toothpaste. They should know to clean their teeth twice a day but always remind them and eventually it will stick in their mind. And also when they eat sweets or sugary food or drink.