Dental Care for Children
A perfect smile does not just happen accidentally.
Many parents are not aware of the importance of their child’s first teeth. Although these teeth will naturally fall out, your child’s baby teeth are important for 2 main reasons:
- They are essential for your child to chew and speak properly. Healthy baby teeth allow your child to enjoy a variety of food for proper maintenance of a balanced diet.
- They guide the growth of the jaw and maintain the space to ensure permanent teeth come through in the correct alignment and position.
Occasionally when your child’s baby teeth fall out too early, either by decay or being accidentally knocked out, it can have a significant impact on their oral and general health unless appropriate treatment is taken.
General timeline for children teething
Your child’s baby teeth usually appear around 6 months old up to 2.5 years old. All baby teeth should appear by the age of 3. Your child starts to lose the baby teeth at the age of 6 and their adult teeth will gradually replace them until the age of 13.
Dental care tips for children
- Never allow your child to sleep with a bottle of milk, juice, or any sugary liquids. This can cause widespread decay called “baby bottle decay”.
- Avoid passing germs in your mouth to your baby, especially if you have decaying teeth yourself. Do not put food, pacifiers or utensils in your mouth before giving it to your child.
- Starting from birth, take time to clean your infant’s gums with a damp cloth.
- When the baby teeth come through, brush the teeth with a soft children’s toothbrush twice a day. Do not use toothpaste before the age of 2 as your child may swallow the toothpaste. This can cause mottling of their adult teeth in the future.
- Use children’s toothpaste between the ages of 2-6 and change to adult toothpaste after 6 years old.
- Supervise your child’s brushing technique, making sure they brush for at least 2 minutes.
- Get your child a mouthguard if they play contact sports.