Best dental health for children
It’s never too early to begin teaching good oral hygiene to your children, to create good habits that continue throughout life
Tooth decay among children on the rise, with more than half of all 6 year olds having some decay in their baby and adult teeth, so the need to visit a dental professional regularly is even more pressing to monitor a child’s dental health and development.
You should start caring for your child’s dental health from when they are a baby and toddler so by the time they reach 3 years of age, they are in a good routine and know what it takes to keep their teeth healthy. Children require assistance from you until about the age of 7 or 8, and even then, it’s a good idea to supervise them when they’re brushing and flossing their teeth.
Baby teeth matter
Baby teeth do eventually fall out to make way for adult teeth but that doesn’t mean cleaning them isn’t just as important. If decay causes them to be removed, it can cause crowding problems when heir adult teeth emerge, causing a need to have braces later on. Ensure children brush their teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, which they shouldn’t swallow, remembering to brush for at least two minutes at a time. Try using an egg timer, or 2 minute toothbrushing app on your phone, or count slowly up to 120, to make keeping time fun and easy for your child. Flossing, with parental assistance until the age of 10 or when they are able to do it themselves, should start as soon as children have the teeth are in contact with each other, where food or debris may be trapped.
Regular dentist visits
Kicking off at the age of 1 at the latest, or within 6 months of the first tooth appearing, your child should see their dentist regularly and understand that visiting them is an important part of growing up. If you receive benefits such as Family Tax Benefit A payments, you can take advantage of government programs such as the Child Dental Benefits Schedule, to cover dental care.
Good eating and drinking habits
To develop strong teeth, your children need a healthy, balanced diet made up of fresh foods such as vegetables, cheese and lean meats, minimal high-sugar foods such as biscuits and muesli bars and as much unprocessed foods as possible.