Looking after your child’s teeth
You can begin the process of looking after your child’s teeth from a very young age, and it is important to do so in order to promote the importance of their oral healthcare as they grow older.
For babies, you can use a soft toothbrush to brush their gums before the first tooth appears. As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, you may use a fluoride toothpaste to begin brushing. It is important to use a fluoride toothpaste as this contributes to the prevention of tooth decay from an early stage.
For children under three years of age, it is best to ask your dentist for a recommendation on the specific toothpaste that should be used. With children of this age, it is important to remember that they typically like the taste of their toothpaste, so keep an eye on them to make sure they do not eat or lick any toothpaste directly from the tube.
Cleaning a young child’s teeth should take around two minutes and should be done twice a day, once just before bedtime. Discourage rinsing with water after brushing as this can nullify some of the positive effects of the toothpaste.
It is advisable to watch over your child as they brush their teeth up until the age of seven or eight years. This can be done by direct supervision, or you could brush your teeth together. Once your child reaches the stage at which you feel confident they will responsibly brush their teeth as and when they should, occasional supervision is recommended in order to ensure they are doing so correctly.