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A guide to brushing your children’s teeth

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Good oral hygiene habits start at home and it is important to instil a proactive oral routine in your children from a young age. Although baby teeth are later replaced with adult teeth, they play an important role in helping your child bite and chew, as well as guiding the way for your child’s adult teeth to grow in.

As your children’s teeth begin to grow in, help their discomfort by wiping their gums with a damp cloth or a gum massager regularly. Childhood teeth begin to appear around 6 months of age, which is when you can start a twice daily, gentle cleaning routine.

Children aged 0-18 months should not be using toothpaste, begin brushing their teeth using water only, this will allow them to get used to the toothbrush and the motion of spitting.

The best way to brush your child’s teeth is to sit or stand behind them, preferably in front of a mirror so your child can watch and learn. If you choose to sit, be sure to have you child sitting on your lap facing away from you, cup their chin for any spillage and have their head rest against your body. A child should begin to use toothpaste around 18 months, begin by using a small amount, nothing bigger than pea-size. Toothpaste should be a low-fluoride children’s paste until they are 6 years old as children have a tendency to swallow toothpaste. Encourage your child to spilt out their toothpaste, not to swallow and not to water rinse.

Most children need assistance until they are 7 or 8 years old however it’s important to let them try to practice brushing their own teeth where possible.

A healthy smile starts from a very young age. Poor habits can continue through to adulthood causing many problems that can affect an adults health, wellbeing and confidence. Start your children with a thorough routine of oral care; by your child’s first birthday they should be visiting a dentist for their first check up.

Click here to book an appointment for your child with a Smile Dental Clinics dentist today and start them on the best possible road to great oral health. You may also be eligible for the government funded Child Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS). Click here to find out more.

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