Basic Dental Care Tips For Children
Dental care begins when first teeth appear, which is usually from about six months. You can normally expect a full set of 20 first or 'milk' teeth before your child is three years old. Sometimes babies are born with one or more of their teeth already in place.
How soon should I start to clean my child's teeth?
Toothbrushes specifically designed for babies are available. If you find it hard to get a toothbrush into your baby's mouth, you can use a clean flannel or cloth to wipe the teeth and gums clean instead. The important thing is to try and establish tooth cleaning as a regular thing after breakfast and before bedtime so that it becomes part of your child's daily routine.
When should I start taking my child to the dentist?
You might like to begin by taking your toddler along with you when you go for regular check-ups so that they can get used to the dentist (unless you are expecting any treatment). When your child reaches the age of about two, your dentist will probably begin to look in their mouth in a fairly informal way. You can help prepare your child in advance by looking at books, which talk about going to the dentist and telling them about the mirror and the 'magic' chair.
How soon can my child be left to clean their teeth unsupervised?
Most children are able to brush their own teeth around the age of seven. A good rule of thumb is that if they can write their name quite clearly, they can probably be left to clean their teeth themselves. However, it is still a good idea to check how well your child is brushing their teeth now and again. Aim to ensure they brush their teeth for two or three minutes at least twice a day.
How can fluoride help?
Fluoride is a mineral, which has been found to help protect against decay by strengthening tooth enamel. Most tooth pastes now contain fluoride and it is added to the water supply in some areas. If your water is not fluoridated, ask your dentist about fluoride mouth rinses or supplements in the form of tablets or drops. Too much fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis in which teeth become permanently mottled in appearance.
You can limit the risk of fluorosis by:-Using only a small, pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.Encouraging your child to spit out rather than swallow the toothpaste after cleaning.Rinsing the mouth after cleaning.by: Dr Amit Srivastava