Start your child on a good oral health journey by introducing proper hygiene routines from a young age. Establishing healthy habits from childhood is fundamental for developing strong adult teeth.
How to brush teeth
Choose a toothbrush that has a small head, gentle bristles and can fit easily into your little one’s hand. You might also like to choose a toothpaste that is suitable for young children with pleasant flavouring and colourful packaging.
Brush morning and night – after breakfast and before bed time.
To brush your child’s teeth in 4 easy steps:
- Place a small, pea sized amount of toothpaste onto your child’s toothbrush.
- In a gentle, circular motion, brush all surfaces of the teeth. Inside, outside and biting surfaces of the teeth.
- At a 45° angle, gently brush along the tooth gum line using small movements. It is very important to clean this area as bacteria easily builds up in the gum line.
- Spit out any remaining toothpaste.
When to start brushing
You should be introducing a tooth brushing routine to your child as soon as teeth appear. In general, the primary teeth or milk teeth begin to emerge from 6-8 months of age (this can vary from person to person).
When your child reaches 18 months their first molars will start to appear. When all baby teeth have appeared, there should be 20 teeth in total, 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom.
See below tooth development guide.
From 6 to 13 years old, the primary teeth become replaced by the child’s next set of adult teeth. There should be 28 adult teeth in total. From 17 years old, wisdom teeth will protrude, resulting in a total of 32 adult teeth.
Encouraging children to brush
Motivating your child to brush morning and night is not always as easy as it seems. For when your child needs a little extra motivation, we have put together some of our favourite tooth brushing tips.
Work Towards a Reward
You will need:
Every time your child brushes their teeth, reward them with a sticker to place on a calendar. There should be at least 2 stickers on each day.
At the end of the month, 2 weeks or however long you choose, reward your child with something they want. This could be a movie, a popular toy or an event they would like to go to.
This is also a great way to teach your child patience and to work towards a goal. Keep your child interested by using a variety of stickers, a bright toothbrush and choosing a toothpaste with their favourite characters on it.
Make it Fun
Keep your child entertained for the 2 minutes they need to brush their teeth. There are a variety of apps and videos available that tell stories or play music to get your child through their brushing routine. They will be bouncing around the bathroom, dancing along in no time. And once the music stops, they can finish brushing their teeth.
Brushing doesn’t necessarily have to take place in the bathroom either. You can let your child brush in bed or in your arms.
Your child and the dentist
Baby teeth help get your child’s jaw ready for adult teeth, as well as support their speech and chewing ability. Healthy baby teeth pave the way for healthy adult teeth, which is why it is so important to ensure the health of your child’s baby teeth.
At Coastal Dental Care, we recommend working with your child to establish healthy eating habits and good tooth brushing techniques from an early age.
Moreover, there are also programs like the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) which is a Medicare dental benefits program for eligible children between the ages of 2 and 17. Under the schedule it provides $1,000 in benefits for basic dental services. You can find out if your child is covered here.
To help make your child’s first dental experience a positive one, Coastal Dental Care have friendly, gentle Oral Health Therapists who are trained to work with children.
Contact one of our practices or book an appointment online today.