How to Care for your Child’s Oral Health

dental care for kids

It may seem a bit silly to talk about oral healthcare for tiny babies, because most do not develop teeth until they are around 6 months old, but dentists do recommend that all parents take steps to look after their baby’s gums before teeth even start to erupt. Using a very soft brush or a wipe to gently brush and clean the gums will help to remove any traces of bacteria from the mouth.


Once your baby’s teeth start to come through, use a very soft brush to gently clean the teeth and remove bacteria. Always use toothpaste that has been specially formulated for young children, as the levels of fluoride in adult toothpaste is too high for small children.

It is advisable to introduce your baby to the dentist as early as possible and most dentists recommend taking children for their first check-up at around the age of 12 months. Taking your child to the dentist on a regular basis can help them relax around dentists from an early age, as well as helping to prevent dental health problems.

Oral health for toddlers and older children

Most toddlers enjoy holding a toothbrush and cleaning their teeth but it is always a good idea to supervise brushing to make sure teeth are cleaned properly. If your chid is reluctant to brush their teeth, try to make teeth cleaning fun by playing games, brushing your teeth alongside your child or buying oral hygiene products which are attractive to children. There is now a huge range of products, including mouthwash, toothpaste and toothbrushes, which are brightly colored and decorated with children’s cartoon and TV characters.

Try to encourage your children to eat healthy foods and avoid eating and drinking lots of sugary foods and drinks. Explain why some foods are harmful for their teeth and get them involved in cooking and preparing healthy snacks and meals.

Going to the dentist is really important, so try and take your child for regular dental check-ups. Most dentists recommend check-ups every 6-12 months.

Why is oral health important for children?

Oral health is really important for people of all ages, including children and babies.  Some parents may not think that good oral hygiene is important because milk teeth fall out and are replaced with a permanent set of teeth, however, this is not the case and you can start taking steps to promote good future oral health before your baby even develops their first tooth.

Getting children involved in oral hygiene and talking to them about oral health is important because it encourages them to develop good habits from an early age. Children who regularly brush their teeth twice a day are less likely to suffer from oral health problems, which can reduce the chances of them suffering from low self-esteem, as studies suggest that children with healthy teeth and a nice smile are more likely to be confident and do well at school. Research also suggests that children with poor oral health may not perform as well at school because tooth pain and other symptoms of dental health problems make it difficult for them to concentrate and may mean that they miss valuable hours in the classroom.

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