Tel: 01628 486278
Raj Parmar B.D.S., L.D.S.R.C.S.Eng Emma Baggaley B.ch.D., M.F.G.D.P.(UK)

Dental Healthcare Marlow

Passionate about Prevention

At Dental Healthcare Marlow we're passionate about helping people take care of their teeth, not only for the immediate future but for the rest of their lives, by giving appropriate information and encouraging good habits.

Getting your children into good habits

Children Teeth Habits

Habits learned as a child are difficult to break later in life, so it’s important for parents to help their children establish a good oral hygiene routine from an early age. This will improve their chances of benefiting from healthy teeth and gums as they get older.

From 0-6 years

Teething
A child’s first teeth will begin to emerge at between three and six months. Ease the discomfort by gently rubbing the gums with your finger, perhaps apply a little teething gel. If you use a bottle as a comforter, avoid filling it with sweet drinks and juices – plain water is good alternative.

By the age of three your child should have a full set of 20 milk or primary teeth. Caring for milk teeth is very important if the adult teeth are to grow properly.

Starting to brush
As soon as the first tooth erupts, plaque will begin to form. Remove the plaque from your baby's teeth with a small soft brush, morning and night.

This will get your child into the routine of regular brushing. At first you will be doing the brushing but eventually they will take over.

Fluoride
Fluoride has been shown to strengthen the structure of the tooth and helps fight against decay. However too much fluoride may cause problems, so use a pea-size dab of a children's toothpaste, which will contain just the right amount.

If your child has good healthy teeth, fluoride supplements in the form of tablets or drops are now not considered necessary.

A tooth friendly diet
Any sugar in your child's diet will react with the plaque on their teeth to form acid. This can last up to two hours before it’s neutralised by saliva. So eating between mealtimes, especially sugary foods, lengthens the amount of time the teeth are at risk.

Avoid giving your child too many sweet foods and drinks, as this can encourage them to develop a sweet tooth. Don’t be fooled by manufacturers’ labels making statements like ‘no added sugar’. The product may still contain natural sugars. Dried fruits, juices, fruit yoghurts and milk shakes should be treated with caution.

Visiting the dentist
From the age of 18 months, let your child accompany you when you go to the dentist for your routine check-ups, preferably bringing another adult along to answer their questions and dispel any fears.

Your child should have his or her teeth checked by the dentist at the age of two or three. By this time they should be familiar with the situation and be quite happy to have their teeth looked at. From this age it’s important for children to see the dentist every six months to make sure that their teeth are developing correctly and so any problems can be addressed quickly.

From 6-12 years

Brushing
If your child isn’t already brushing his or her own teeth, start encouraging them to do so. Get them into the routine of brushing for at least two minutes every morning and night. You can use plaque-disclosing tablets, which colour any plaque remaining on the teeth, to check if your child is doing a good job of brushing.

Research shows that the most effective time for cleaning teeth is at bedtime, as long as no food or drinks other than water are consumed afterwards.

Permanent teeth
From the age of six your child’s primary teeth will begin to fall out as the permanent teeth start to emerge. At this stage it’s especially vital to maintain a good brushing routine. It’s also more important to confine sugary foods to mealtimes. So when your child is hungry between meals, encourage them to eat savoury snacks.

Fissure sealants
When your child’s adult teeth have all emerged (apart from the wisdom teeth), you may consider fissure sealing. This is where the dentist coats the pits and grooves on the biting surface of the teeth with a layer of special plastic resin. This seals the areas where plaque can gather, helping to prevent tooth decay.

This treatment is not necessary for all children, but can be particularly helpful if your child had to have fillings in his or her milk teeth.

By encouraging your child to look after their teeth from an early age you can set them on the path to good dental health for life.

Click here to go back to the resources page >>