A common question asked by parents is when their child should start brushing their teeth, and the answer is simple – as soon as they get any! This is because as soon as teeth are present, there is a chance of tooth decay. In fact, before teeth are even present in the mouth, it’s a good idea to wipe your child’s gums with a damp cloth on a daily basis. When teeth do appear, use a small headed soft-bristled toothbrush (baby toothbrushes are available from most pharmacies nowadays) and a smear of toothpaste (again children’s toothpaste is widely available), and gently brush the teeth twice a day.
“It can sometimes be a struggle to brush children’s teeth. I know because I have a toddler and it’s a constant battle at the moment. However keep persevering as the long term benefit to your child’s dental health is huge,” says Dr Rashid of Time Dental in Surrey, “make sure that they don’t go to sleep with a bottle of milk at night time as this can cause what’s called “bottle caries” which is rapid tooth decay. It’s best to give them their milk and then brush their teeth afterwards.”
Baby teeth play an important role in the development of the mouth and adult teeth underneath, and should be treated with a lot of care. Bringing your child to your regular dental exams is also a good idea. This gives them a chance to become familiar with the dentist and the dental environment.
“The best thing to tell a child when they are seeing the dentist for the first time is to tell them that they are going to have their teeth counted. Never use the phrase “it’s not going to hurt” or “you have to be brave” as this is negative reinforcement. We want them to enjoy coming to se us. At Time Dental we often encourage children to take a ride in the chair and show us how many teeth they have,” advises Dr Rashid.
If you have any queries about your child’s dental health, please give us a call at Time Dental on 01252 723008 and we would be happy to help.