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Dental hygiene for Kids

20th February 2021 by

The importance of keeping your baby’s teeth healthy and introducing your child to good dental habits that are ingrained for life is only now starting to filter through to the main stream population. This guide gives parents all the key info you need at your fingertips.

Hygiene for Infants

When babies are born, you can’t see their teeth straight away, but they are actually hidden in the gums. This is why babies begin ‘teething’ after around six months, as their teeth start to push through. We recommend you start the best oral care for your child before the first tooth even comes through.

Simply wipe your babies gums with a soft wash-cloth after feeding. Just like adults, this helps remove the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

Once the teeth start to come through the gums, you can then start to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Make sure that the amount of toothpaste is no bigger than the size of a grain of rice. Remember to use a soft bristle toothbrush to do this.

Reminder: Don’t forget to take the bottle away after your child finishes drinking. This is to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay can happen when babies drink milk, formula, or juice from their bottles over long periods of time. It can also occur if they regularly fall asleep with the bottle.

Tackling a teething baby

Teething generally starts occurring in babies at around six months. This means that the poor little tykes will be suffering from uncomfortably sore, red gums since their teeth will be pushing through for the first time. Some children start earlier – common signs of teething include swollen gums, increased chewing and dribbling, irritability and flushed cheeks.

Here are the best ways to help your little one through this trying time:

  • Do your best to keep them distracted with fun activities.
  • Be vigilant about wiping away excessive drooling or your baby will end up doubly irritated by stinging skin on their chin.
  • Chilled teething rings are a great help as they sooth irritated gums.
  • When you can see your baby is in pain, good solutions are to gently apply (sugar-free) teething gel directly to their gums to numb them, or as a last resort, give them a dose of (sugar-free) medicine designed for babies, such as Calpol or Nurofen for Children.

Why dummies are best avoided

Dummies were once a staple for babies and they might seem like a good idea to help with teething problems, but we (and the British Dental Health Foundation are in agreement) advise against making dummies a habit. The reason for this is that dummies place pressure on your baby’s mouth and can cause their fledgling teeth to move out of alignment.

What happens next?

Children have all their baby teeth by the age of three. These are called primary teeth. After this, the baby teeth begin to fall out around the age of six. This is when the permanent ‘adult’ teeth start to appear. Most permanent teeth will come through by age thirteen.

It’s also important to schedule your child’s first dental appointment as soon as their first baby tooth is visible. Many of our patients ask us when the best time is, so we highly recommend bringing them in as soon as their first tooth appears.

Oral Hygiene for Children

Here are some tips to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong starting from the age of three.

  • Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out after brushing. We recommend Colgate Maximum Cavity Protection Kids
  • Be sure your child brushes for at least two minutes twice a day
  • Make sure a parent or carer supervises the child whilst brushing.
  • Start flossing as soon as their teeth touch, or even earlier to help build good oral hygiene habits.
  • Help your child brush and floss, and remind them to pay attention to the back teeth.
  • Visit one of our friendly dentists at Bow Lane every six months.

Colgate Toothpaste

Oral Hygiene tips for Pre-teens

As children grow and more of their permanent teeth come in, a regular daily hygiene routine is crucial to keeping their teeth and gums healthy.

We also think that is can be harder to keep pre-teens interested in looking after their oral health, so we’ve put together a few tips on how to keep them engaged.

  • Remind your child to brush their teeth twice a day.
  • Make sure they brush for a full two minutes. It might be helpful to advise them to set a timer on their phone, or use an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer which will help them keep track. (This may make things feel more fun for them).
  • Tell them that keeping their mouth, teeth and gums healthy will help them look and feel better. This can be especially helpful as children growing up become more conscious of their appearance.
  • If your child has braces, make sure they use an electric toothbrush for a deeper clean. Don’t forget the floss, as this will help avoid any white spots once the braces are removed.
  • If your children are interested in sports, encourage them to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from any accidents or trauma.
  • Let them know that flossing daily will help them avoid cavities and plaque build-up, which can lead to early tooth-loss and lots of fillings!

Remember, if either parent is a regular patient at Bow Lane Dental we do not charge for routine check-ups and prevention for your children up to the age of 16.

Call us today on 020 7236 3600 to book in your child’s check-up. You can also book their appointment online here.

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