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    Understanding your child’s teeth from birth to age six

    Yes, baby teeth do fall out but it is still important to look after them. Kids need them for proper chewing and speech development. They also hold a space for the adult tooth to come through. So what is the best way to care for them?

    Understanding your Child’s Teeth from Birth to Age Six

    As parents, you are required to take care of everything to do with your child and their teeth. You need to take this responsibility seriously. As soon as a child is born, their teeth start to develop and when the baby reaches the age of around 6 months their teeth start to appear.  When the child reaches the age of 2, he or she will have 20 teeth first. These are the primary teeth which need to be looked after properly.

    Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth

    After the age of six, the primary teeth start to fall out and their permanent teeth take their place. It is still essential that parents look after their child’s teeth. Here are a few tips you can begin with for taking care of your child’s teeth:

    • Clean your baby’s gum with some damp cloth to make sure no remains of the milk are left behind.
    • As soon as teeth start to appear, replace the cloth with a soft toothbrush for cleaning the little gums.
    • Use pea size amount of toothpaste for toddlers starting from the age of eighteen months to the age of five years. Don’t use fluoride toothpaste until the child learns how to spit.
    • Brush your baby’s teeth at least twice per day and as soon as he starts to mature, encourage him and teach him to brush his teeth himself.
    • Don’t ever let your child sleep with a filled or empty bottle. If your child does not sleep without it then make sure the bottle contains warm tap water instead of any other fluid.
    • Start taking your child to the dentist from the age of 12 months onwards, every 6 months

    Chances of Tooth Decay

    As the child grows, the teeth start to come through the gum and are prone to tooth decay. Children mostly love eating sweets, and when combined with a plaque this can damage the teeth and cause tooth decay.  You can help your child prevent tooth decay in the following ways:

    1. Instead of giving chocolates and biscuits, you can feed your child healthier foods.
    2. If your child can’t live without sweets then try to at least reduce the amount and frequency of eating sweets.
    3. Sucking on a lollipop or other sweets would be more harmful.
    4. Fizzy drinks will also be damaging to the enamel. Children should not be given too much.

    Which Toothpaste is Best for a Child?

    When your child starts pre-school, that is when toothpaste that has fluoride should be used. Fluoride is really good at fighting bacteria that cause cavities.  It can help the teeth become stronger, that’s why many orthodontists recommend the use of fluoride toothpaste. However, in recent years there have been many debates about whether fluoride is safe to use. Consult your dentist before giving your child fluoride.

    Help your child brush his teeth and make sure that he or she develops the habit of brushing them regularly and properly.

    Oral Health Therapist

    Sue, our Oral Health Therapist, just treats children. She is a teacher at Melbourne University with many, many years of experience. Call 9386 1805 to make an appointment.