With the number of children who are being admitted to hospital with tooth decay rising, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you are taking the right steps to keep your children’s teeth healthy. Here, we outline some key facts to know about protecting baby teeth as they develop.
When Should You Start?
Start brushing teeth as soon as that very first milk tooth emerges. It is important to use a fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay.
For children younger than three years, just use a smear of toothpaste. Those between three and six years should use a pea sized amount.
Until your children are eight years old, they should be either supervised when brushing their teeth or you should do it for them. Once they are eight, they should be brushing by themselves but only stop supervision when you are satisfied that they are capable of independently giving their teeth a thorough brush.
Is Children’s Toothpaste Necessary?
All children can use family toothpaste which contains 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride but they should be supervised. You must make sure that smaller children don’t start trying to eat the toothpaste. You can use children’s toothpaste but should make sure that it contains an appropriate amount of fluoride – it is worth consulting with your dentist about this.
Make sure that children don’t use water to rinse away the toothpaste afterwards – encourage them to spit it out instead. Rinsing afterwards will get rid of the fluoride and reduce its benefits.
How Should I Teach My Child To Brush?
You should hold your child’s hand when first teaching them to brush independently so that they can feel the correct movement and try to recreate it. Using a mirror can also be helpful so that your child can see exactly where they should be brushing. To teach your children about the appropriate brushing time, it may be fun to use an egg timer or play a short piece of music so that they get used to brushing for about two minutes. Take care to ensure that your children know not to rush around while brushing their teeth, in case they fall and injure themselves.
For further advice, us a call today on 01603 621613 or book an appointment.