You can prevent tooth decay for your child before it’s too late.
When baby teeth have tooth decay, it increases the chances of decay in adult teeth. In this blog we will explain how you, the parent/ carer can help to reduce the risk of your child developing dental decay.
Start with three simple tooth brushing rules –
- Brush every surface twice a day, in the morning and last thing at night.
- Start with a fluoride toothpaste with at least 1000ppm fluoride. Use a smear for babies aged 0-2 and a pea-sized amount for children aged 3-5. (Adults need to ensure the correct amount of toothpaste is used and that children do not eat any of it.)
- Spit out the toothpaste – but don’t rinse!! For babies, wipe away excess toothpaste from face and lips.
Make tooth brushing part of your daily routine by pairing it with activities like getting dressed and bedtime stories.
For babies, begin brushing when the first tooth appears. Adults should brush their children’s teeth until they are 7 years old. Effective methods of brushing your children’s teeth are –
- Lay them on their back
- Sit them on your lap
- Stand behind them and brush
Tooth Brushing Methods
- Use short gentle strokes, moving from the gums towards the edge of teeth.
- On chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth.
- Gentle up and down strokes with the tip of the brush for behind front teeth.
Tips to make tooth brushing easier –
- Sing your child’s favourite song or play your child’s favourite tune to distract them during brushing and making it a more pleasurable experience.
- Lead by example – brush your teeth at the same time as your child and show them how its done. Take over at the end to ensure your child’s teeth are brushed properly and that they don’t swallow any toothpaste.
- Don’t be afraid to hold them – if they move their head away, try sitting them on your lap and gently holding their forehead.
- Use play to get your child to open their mouth – but don’t force it. Try pulling funny faces, each time they open their mouth, brush a few more teeth.
- Give praise and encouragement for good behaviour like opening their mouth and allowing you to brush.
- Try brushing apps – like the Oral-B Disney Magic Timer app. Kids can brush along with their favourite characters, unlock reward stickers and more. Available on the App Store or Google Play.
- Find a toothbrush featuring a character that your child loves!
- Have more than one toothbrush in the bathroom for your child. Distract babies with one brush while you brush with the other.
- Some brushing with fluoride toothpaste is better than none! Stay positive, don’t give up and remember you’re not alone!
Good brushing and healthy eating aren’t a phase, they are a lifelong habit.
For more information visit Oral-B/StrongTeeth