For new parents, the prospect of keeping your child’s teeth healthy can be rather daunting. We know how important dental care is, but when does it begin?
Dr Pilar Gesto, dentist at Fleet Street Clinic, explains how to give your child the best chance of having a healthy mouth for life.
Good oral health habits can begin as soon as your baby is born, even before their first tooth emerges.
Every child is different, but most babies get their first teeth at about six months of age. They usually have all 20 baby teeth by the age of three. These teeth are very important for our children’s health, helping them to:
– Chew their food.
– Learn to speak.
– Maintain space in the upper and lower jaws for future adult teeth.
– Smile with confidence.
When a child loses a baby tooth too soon, the other teeth move and can create alignment issues that may require braces or other dental treatments.
Adult teeth will start to come through at the age of six.
As soon as teeth emerge, you can start using an amount of fluoride toothpaste – the size of a grain of rice. You can increase this to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when your child is 3 years old. Brush gently all around your child’s baby teeth, front and back.
For babies, if using a small toothbrush is difficult, use a piece of gauze that you rub around your finger and add toothpaste.
It is very important to brush your baby’s teeth after every meal and before bedtime. Songs and games while brushing will help them to enjoy this new routine.
Fleet Street Clinic offers dental examinations for children. We would be delighted to help with showing your baby brushing techniques and demonstrations.
It is also a good idea to bring your child along to your own dental appointments, so they get used to the environment.
Dr Pilar Gesto, Dentist at Fleet Street Clinic
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