The leaves are starting to turn on the trees, and the nights are beginning to draw in. The school Summer holidays are over and the kids have gone back to school. But whilst you might be enjoying a slightly quieter house for a while, there is still lots to think about when it comes to children's oral health care. Whilst they are learning new things at school, and taking part in new activities, it's a good time to instil good habits when it comes to looking after their teeth. Here are some top facts and tips from us to help you support your child to develop good routines early in life:
When thinking about the best time to start taking your child to the dentist, you might be concerned about making that first trip too soon. We'd advise that you take your child in as soon as is really possible. This will enable them to get used to visiting the dentist at an early age. They'll be able to get used to the sounds and smells, and start to learn what to expect. After your first visit, your dentist will be able to advise how often to bring your child in.
You'll start to notice baby or milk teeth developing in your child when they are about 6 month old. By the time they are 2 years old all 20 baby teeth should have appeared.
Baby teeth start to fall out when children are aged about 6/7. Adult teeth then start to appear. All permanent teeth should have appeared by the age of 13. Wisdom teeth however appear between the ages of 18 and 25.
When your child starts to develop teeth, you'll need to support them to start brushing, using a toothbrush designed for children. Your child should be supervised until they are at least 7 years old.
When supervising your child, you might find it easier to stand behind them. It may help them to reach their top and bottom teeth more easily if you cradle their chin in your hand.
Progress from a child's toothbrush to a brush with a small head and soft bristles. Teach your child to move around their mouth, making sure they don't miss any sections, and concentrating on small areas at a time using small, circular movements.
Embed brushing into your daily routines, so that they expect to do this twice a day.
Praise is key to supporting the development of good routines, so make sure you give lots of encouragement.
Establishing good routines at an early age is crucial for oral health later in life. If brushing properly and regularly is part of your child's every day routine when their teeth are first starting to appear, then it is likely these routines will extend into adulthood.
The Oral Health Foundation website features lots of information and tips for children from birth right through to teenagers. In addition, our dental team are happy to give information and advice. Call us today, or have a chat with your dentist on your next appointment.