Preventative dental care is just as vital for babies and young children as it is for adults. Some people may be tempted to believe that because these teeth are going to fall out anyway; instilling good dental habits can wait until the permanent teeth come through. However, your child’s first teeth play an important role in helping your child to chew properly and speak correctly. These teeth also reserve the correct space in the gums and help to guide the permanent teeth into the proper position in your child’s mouth.
When and where to expect babies first teeth?
- There can be a huge variation in when a baby’s first tooth erupts, with a few babies born with a tooth through already and others still have no teeth by their first birthday. However, generally speaking, the first tooth usually appears around six months of age.
- The first teeth to emerge are the front eight teeth – four on the top and four on the bottom; a front bottom tooth is usually the first to make an appearance.
When and how should you begin to encourage good dental habits with your child?
- Before your child even has their first tooth, you can gently wipe their gums once a day with a clean, damp soft cloth, and so begin to instil good dental habits from birth.
- When the first tooth emerges, choose a toothbrush designed for babies - with soft, rounded bristles and a small head, and gently brush with small circular movements, concentrating on the area where the tooth and gum meet. Be particularly gentle when your child is teething as their gums will feel very tender and sensitive. Begin flossing as soon as there are two teeth touching each other.
- Around the time of your child’s first birthday is the ideal time to take them for their first dental check-up
- Aged 1 is a good time to introduce a low-fluoride children’s toothpaste. Simply smear a thin film on the toothbrush and encourage spitting out toothpaste after brushing, but don’t be concerned if they swallow this small amount in the process.
- Swallowing large amounts of fluoride can have a detrimental effect on teeth and can make your child ill or cause diarrhoea, so do not allow licking or eating toothpaste straight from the tube.
What is a good oral health routine?
- Brushing your child’s teeth after breakfast each morning and again before bedtime, after they have had their last food and drink for the day is a good lifetime routine to establish. It is best for you to brush your child’s teeth until they are able to properly do it themselves – usually by eight years of age. Remember that leading by example is a powerful way to teach good oral habits.
What food and drinks are best avoided?
- Never put anything sweet on a child’s dummy, if you use a pacifier.
- Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice, formula or milk.
- Fruit juice should be diluted with ten parts water to one-part juice.
- All sugary foods cause tooth decay, and much damage is caused if even small amounts are consumed regularly throughout the day, not allowing teeth time to repair themselves. This includes dried fruits, fruit juices and fruit smoothies.
If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, or they are due for a check-up, contact the Dental Lounge at Robina to schedule an appointment, phone (07) 5580 8855 or complete our online request form.
Your child may be eligible for $1000 from the Children’s Dental Benefit Scheme?
The government is allowing $1000 of dental treatment over a two-year period for eligible children through MEDICARE. Call us on (07) 5580 8855 to find out if you are eligible.
The whole team at The Dental Lounge is ready to help your child feel comfortable. Our dentists are very gentle and are experienced with all the typical forms of anxiety kids often feel when visiting the dentist. They will be in safe hands.