Children at different ages all have different dental care requirements and the purpose of this article is to get parents up to speed with what those requirements may be at varying stages in their development.
It is no wonder that the main contributor to tooth decay among children is caused by consuming sugary drinks and foods and skipping the proper cleaning of teeth and gums. To our amazement, most food and drink aimed at our little ones comes loaded with sugar and artificial flavourings –and without proper dental care, this can translate into stressful (and costly) dental visits later in life.
In order to ensure that your children have the best chance at maintaining healthy gums and teeth, follow these dental care tips for kids between the ages of 0 and 8 years of age.
- Learn how to clean your child’s teeth from a professional; your child’s first dental screening should take place around 6 months from the time their first tooth breaks through their gums for the first time. This is the perfect time to start cleaning your child’s teeth at home.
- In order to ensure that everything is doing just fine under the surface, it is normal for a child to have X-rays completed somewhere around their 6th birthday. This will ensure that your child isn’t exposed to harmful rays while doing the best to ensure their adult teeth are coming in healthy and on schedule.
- Get your child acclimated to seeing a dentist early; it is estimated by the CDC that costs associated for the dental care of a young child are reduced approximately 40% over a 5 year timeframe if they have been able to visit a dentist Perth by the age of 5 years.
- When your baby’s first teeth begin to appear, it is important to brush them twice per day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Start flossing the moment you notice your child has two teeth which are touching one another. You can save the mouthwash until your child is able to safely spit it out (and knows not to drink it!)
- If you give your baby a bottle for nap time, try to limit their consumption of sugary drinks. Quite often when babies are sent to bed with sugary drinks it greatly increases their likelihood of tooth decay at a young age. Remember; at a young age, your child hasn’t been conditioned to enjoy sugar –and diluting sugaring drinks is probably a really great idea for young children.
- Set up your child’s first dental screening for earlier in the morning; this will allow you to get your child in and out of the dentist’s office before they've had too much time to think about it.
- Not all children require a soother, however if you find that your child does we suggest one that is designed and approved by orthodontists. And it is suggested that parents never “sweeten the soother”; meaning never dip it in sugary things like jams, honey, sugar water, etc. as this will only cause further reliance in addition to possible contamination!
- If your child falls down and has any dental-related injuries, be sure to take them to the dentist to check things out. If any form of corrective dental surgery is needed, it’s best to identify it as early on as possible.
- Thumb sucking will likely wrap up by the age of four, and if it hasn’t you may want to consider helping to correct this behaviour to avoid any dental care-related issues.
- At the very latest, start using fluoride toothpaste at three years of age –your child’s smile will be better for it!
Lily de Grey
Thanks for writing this article, Stefanie! I think it's important that we're placing an emphasis on our children's health. I think you've mentioned some valuable advice: "Get your child acclimated to seeing a dentist early[.]" I think that would be incredibly important for them because dentists are often very informative on telling you if you're brushing correctly. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
My little son just got his first teeth, and after reading I now know that I need to start caring for them now. I'll make sure to gently brush his teeth at least twice a day. I'll also make sure to avoid giving my son sugary drinks near his nap times. I hope these small changes help the health of his teeth in the long run.