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Oral Hygiene Advice for Kids

Teaching your child proper oral care at a young age is an investment in their long-term dental health and the best way to start is by setting an example. Take good care of your own teeth by regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentist (Paramount Dental Sydney recommends every 6 months) demonstrates to children that good dental health is important.


Oral Hygiene
Advice for Kids
factsheet


Ensuring the Dental Health of Babies and toddlers

Most babies don't start getting teeth until they are six months old and infant dental care is essential right from the beginning. Paramount Dental Sydney recommends bringing your baby before their first birthday to make sure teeth and gums are being cleaned properly and to identify any problems that may affect their long term dental health. Here are some tips for maximising your child’s dental health:

  • Breastfeed whenever possible

  • Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle. When babies fall asleep with a bottle some milk stays in the mouth and on the teeth. This can cause tooth decay.

  • Water is the best drink for toddlers. Most tap water in Australia contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay.

  • Avoid flavoured milks as the sugar content leads to tooth decay.

  • Fruit juices and fruit drinks aren’t recommended for babies and toddlers until they are at least 12 months old. Even fruit juice with ‘no added sugar’ contains natural sugar which can also cause tooth decay.

  • Babies do not have a preference for sweetness and sweet foods and drinks. This is something that they get used to when they have sweet foods and drinks regularly. Many common foods and snacks have sugar in them. Eating foods with high levels of sugar causes tooth decay.

  • When baby’s first teeth appear begin cleaning them immediately.

 

Teaching pre-schoolers and primary school children dental hygiene

You can start teaching your child to brush their teeth when they are 2 years old because very young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, rather than spitting it out. Teaching your children to brush and then supervising their brushing sessions is imperative.

Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste a soft-bristled toothbrush, brushing the inside surface of each tooth first. Use a gentle circular motion at the gum line and clean the outer surfaces of each tooth using a gentle circular motion. Don’t forget to brush the tongue!

Once the top and bottom teeth touch each other, you should teach your child to floss between them once a day using regular floss or special plastic floss holders.

Here are some additional tips and advice from Paramount Dental Sydney Services to help maximise the dental health of your child:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste

  • Brush teeth along the gum line

  • Drink plenty of tap water

  • Limit sugary foods, fruit juice and soft drinks

  • Balanced diet using natural foods

  • Regular dentist visits

  • Visit dentist if teeth are damaged or lost

  • Wear a mouth guard when playing sports


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