Baby teeth usually start to appear between the ages of 6-12mo. It is very important to start taking care of them as soon as they erupt. You can start by using a clean soft damp cloth to wipe baby’s teeth and gums after feeding.
By the time your child has 8 teeth (4 teeth top and 4 bottom), you can start to use a small soft baby toothbrush and a smear of baby toothpaste morning and night.
The last thing that should touch baby’s teeth before bed at night is a toothbrush with a smear of baby toothpaste.
Two year old molars, which are the last of the baby teeth, usually come through at about 2 yrs to 2yrs 6months. By now, it is important to be brush twice daily with a child’s 2-6 years fluoride toothpaste. A parent needs to brush a child’s teeth until around the age of 8-9 yrs.
Be careful to encourage healthy eating habits. No more the 3 main meals and 2 snacks will help to maintain healthy teeth. Grazing and frequent snacking will increase the risk of tooth decay.
Children should drink plain milk or plain water. Sweet drinks such as juice, cordial or soft drink are best avoided or consumed for special occasions only.
Regular Early Visits to the Dentist
It is advisable to take your child to the dentist by the age of 12 months. This is for advice regarding feeding, diet, and tooth brushing.
A child who has a number of positive visits from a young age will build up a “bank account of good dental experiences” which will make things a lot easier if, at a later age, they should need dental treatment.
Begin with a smear of baby strength fluoride toothpaste when first starting brushing.
As your child gets older, start encouraging your child to spit and rinse the toothpaste out after brushing. As soon as your child consistently spits the toothpaste out and does not swallow the toothpaste, you can change to the next age group of toothpaste. Low fluoride baby toothpastes have limited effectiveness in preventing cavities, so a higher fluoride toothpaste will help to protect teeth better.