Although you can’t see them, babies are born with some of their teeth but they are hidden below the surface of the gums. It is not until approximately six months of age that the they begin to break through but this can be quite variable as some babies have few teeth up to a year. Here are some tips to keep your kids teeth healthy depending on their age.
0-2 year old
- Wipe your child’s gums with a clean washcloth after feeding to help remove any plaque that can cause decay.
- Brush their teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste until the child is two years old.
- Your child’s first dental visit should be before their first birthday.
- If your child drinks out of a bottle don’t let them fall asleep with it unless it contains only water. Baby bottle tooth decay is avoidable .
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Often the main cause of tooth decay for little ones is a result of what parents put in their babies bottles. Sugary drinks (cordial, soft drink, fruit juice, etc.) should be avoided and when formula, breast or cow milk is put into a bottle to feed a child proper tooth brushing procedures should be followed. NEVER let your child fall asleep with a bottle of anything except water. If a child falls asleep with a bottle of milk, the lactose – a sugar found in milk – sits in the mouth to combine with plaque on teeth and can cause cavities. Also note: never put sugar, sugar water or honey on the bottle tips or on your child’s dummy.
2-5 years old
- Begin using ONLY a children’s formulated toothpaste with reduced fluoride.
- Use a pea sized amount on the brush and make sure your child spits it out after brushing.
- If your child sucks their thumb try to break this habit before their permanent teeth start to come in at around 4-5 years of age. (See Thumb Sucking and Oral Health)
- Begin six monthly visits with the dentist not later than 2 and half years of age. Young kids teeth decay easily and the longer intervals are a frequent cause of problems.
6-9 years old
- Baby teeth usually begin to fall out around the age of 6. This is variable and should be monitored by your dentist.
- Once teeth start to touch you should begin flossing your child’s teeth on a daily basis.
- Parents should brush and floss the child’s teeth for them until the child is capable of doing a thorough job for themselves at around 9 years of age.
10-12 years old
- Children playing sport should begin wearing a properly fitted custom-made mouthguard.
13 years plus
- Most children will have the majority of their permanent teeth around 13 years of age.
- Parents need to keep an eye on their teens that they are brushing twice a day and flossing once.
- Keep up the six monthly dentist visits.
Our dentists and dental hygienists are here to help. If you are need further advice please call us on (03) 6231 3645 to request an appointment.