Tips to Protect Your Child’s Smile
Following the right dental routine from an early age can help prevent teeth and gum problems from developing now and in the future
Brushing For Babies
When your child’s teeth begin to appear, you can start cleaning them with a soft, damp cloth. Wipe gently over the teeth and gums to remove any milk residue.
Brushing For Children
As your child grows you can start to introduce a soft children’s toothbrush to their routine. From around two to six years of age we recommend using a low fluoride based toothpaste. Once they switch to a regular fluoride toothpaste we recommend using a very small amount (approximately half the size of a pea). This is the case as most children will swallow a small amount. Despite this, children’s toothpastes are specially formulated and have reduced levels of fluoride, which effectively protect and strengthen your child’s teeth.
Making brushing time fun
Help your child to enjoy brushing their teeth by turning on their favourite music. You can encourage your child to start brushing at the start of the song and continue until the end. That way the time will go much faster and they will get their two minutes of brushing done in no time.
Create a brushing routine
If your child is often too tired to brush their teeth before bedtime, choose another time to brush. At TFI Dentistry we recommend that you child brushes at least one each day, however it is preferable to get in the practise of brushing twice a day where possible.
Choosing a toothpaste
If your child does not like the taste of their toothpaste, try a few different brands. It is important to ensure that the toothpaste you choose contains fluoride.
Lead by example
Young children often learn best by imitation. Brushing together can help make brushing a fun part of your child’s daily routine. Parents will need to help until they feel confident that their child can reach all the tricky spots and brush with confidence.
Check their work
After brushing it can be beneficial to take a few minutes to inspect your child’s teeth. Make sure they have reached all of the tricky spots and have paid attention to molars in the back. If you notice any white spots, dark spots or even a hole in a tooth these should be checked by a dentist.
Maintain a healthy approach to food
Healthy eating habits are beneficial to your child’s overall wellbeing. A balanced diet, with children consuming foods from all sections of the healthy food pyramid, can help to prevent decay while strengthening and protecting teeth. Encourage your child to eat healthy snacks and discuss their food choices with them.
Teeth friendly snacks include:
- Fresh Fruit and vegetables
- Cheese and yoghurt
It is important to avoid foods high in sugar and starch which can cause cavities. Cookies, chips, sugary drinks (such as soft drinks) and roll-ups are fine as occasional treats, however they should not be a regular food staple.
Leading by example
Young children learn best by imitation. Brushing and performing an excellent dental hygiene routine and practising a healthy approach to life together with your child can help make brushing a fun part of your child’s daily routine.