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When should children start looking after their own teeth?

children dentistry

Did you know that it’s never too early to start looking after your child’s oral health? Even before a child’s teeth begin to develop, it’s important to take care of their gums.

For example, it’s recommended that after feeding your baby, you should wipe their gums with a damp cloth. This will remove any sugar from their gums while ensuring their teeth are healthy when they erupt.

When should children start brushing?

Brushing can start as soon as a child’s teeth come in; ordinarily, this usually occurs at about two years old. Brush their teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Try to use only a small dab of toothpaste for this as young children have a tendency to swallow toothpaste, instead of spitting it out. You can also floss their teeth as soon as they begin to touch.

Risks of not brushing

If your child doesn’t practise correct hygiene, there a number of consequences that may occur, such as:

  • Poor Hygiene Habits – If children don’t practise correct oral hygiene, they can carry this bad habit into adulthood. This opens themselves up to various oral health issues such as gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. It’s important to establish these habits in early years, to minimize these risks.
  • Childhood Cavities – Without brushing, cavities can easily form in teeth. Cavities occur when the bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth develop into plaque. This plaque can eat away at your tooth and create a hole, or cavity. If left untreated, cavities can escalate to more serious dental problems such as tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Dietary Risks – If your child consumes high amounts of sugary foods and drinks, and they don’t brush their teeth, they run the risk of serious dental issues in the future. Aside from practising proper oral health, diet is an important part of keeping their teeth healthy. Minimizing these sweet products is a great step in the right direction. Another consideration is not sending your child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. In these circumstances the safest bet is water.

Children’s dentist treatment

Redland’s Gentle Dental Care offers a variety of treatments for your child. Fluoride treatment and fissure sealants are one way we can improve and maintain your child’s teeth. If you’re unsure of whether or not your child is old enough to visit the dentist, then remember you can book them in for a check-up as soon as their first tooth erupts.

Child Dental Benefit Scheme (CDBS)

We understand that dental work can be expensive. However, your child’s oral health is important to us, which is why we offer the Child Dental Benefit Scheme. What this means is that if you have a child between 2 – 17 years of age and receive benefits such as Tax Benefit Part A, you may be eligible for up to $1000 worth of dental benefits per child. This is valid for two years and covers treatments ranging from examinations and x-rays to cleanings, fillings, and root canal treatment.

If you are concerned about your child’s dental situation or want to know more about the Child Dental Benefit Scheme, then feel free to contact us today.

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