Top 10 tips for children’s oral hygieneNews & Announcements
Posted: January 15, 2018
There’s no need to wait until your baby actually has teeth to lay the foundations for good oral or general health. In fact, good nutrition and oral hygiene can start right away. It is up to you to develop the routines that will help protect your child from tooth decay and other oral health problems. So, don’t delay, see our easy tips below for cavity free kids.
Top tips for children’s oral hygiene:
1) Start good oral hygiene habits ASAP
Gently clean your infant’s gums and newly erupting first teeth after each feeding with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp wash cloth.
2) Brush with care
When your baby’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush using no more than a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste.
3) Teach your children
When your child turns around 3, you can begin to teach your child proper brushing techniques with no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. You should follow up their efforts by gently brushing the teeth again. Modelling correct technique is important. When your child is about 6 years old, he/she should be developing the dexterity to do it alone. You can then introduce flossing.
4) Check your water
Determine if the water supply that serves your home is fluoridated. If it does not, discuss supplement options with your dentist. Keep in mind that toothpastes and various foods may also contain fluoride.
5) Fight baby bottle tooth decay
Avoid letting your child go to sleep with a bottle filled with anything but water. When teeth are frequently exposed to sugar-containing fluids (including breast milk and formula) for long periods, the potential for decay increases dramatically.
6) Avoid sugar
Understand that if your child ingests sugars, it will take the saliva a minimum of 30 minutes to neutralise the acidity that is created by decay-producing bacteria. A sugary snack every hour can mean your child’s mouth is always acidic, increasing the chances for tooth decay.
Did you know?
A baby’s primary teeth begin forming before birth — at about the sixth week of pregnancy, and begin mineralising at around the third to fourth month of pregnancy. To ensure proper dental development, the mother’s diet must be adequate in all nutrients, especially calcium, phosphorous, and protein.
7) Make regular dental appointments
Your child should see a dentist around the time of their first birthday and then regularly thereafter, every 6 months is recommended by our dentists at Independent Dental Network.
8) Prevent cavities
Ask your dentist about dental sealants and fluoride applications to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants can prevent food from getting stuck in the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces and topical fluoride will strengthen the enamel against decay.
9) Keep your cool
If you feel anxious about a visit to a dental professional, try not to convey these feelings to your child. This is very important for emotional well-being. Encourage your child to discuss any fears they might have about visiting a dentist, but don’t put any new fears into their head. It is a good rule of thumb not to mention the words “hurt” or “pain” in association with the dental visit.
10) Childproof your home
Research has shown that children under age 7 sustain over half of the dental injuries to their primary (baby) teeth playing near home furniture.
Did you know your child may be eligible to receive free dental treatment?
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) has been extended for 2018 and children aged between 2-17 years that are eligible can receive up to $1,000 in benefits over two calendar years for basic dental services. Find out more information about eligibility here
Find an Independent Network Dentist near you
Australian Dental Organisation