Tooth decay is a growing problem in Australia, affecting more than half of children. If dental disease isn’t treated in time, it can lead to toothache, cavities or even tooth loss. If baby teeth are lost to decay, this can affect the adult tooth growing underneath.
Taking care of your child’s teeth from the moment they appear can lower their risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems throughout their childhood and beyond. This includes regular visits to your local dental clinic for a check-up and clean.
When should I start brushing a baby’s teeth?
Infant teeth need to be brushed as soon as they emerge from the gums, usually around 6 months of age. You shouldn’t use toothpaste to clean a baby’s teeth – instead, gently brush their teeth and gums twice a day using a soft children’s toothbrush and water.
When should I stop brushing my child’s teeth?
Children will need your help to clean their teeth and gums until they’re able to move the toothbrush confidently themselves, usually from the age of 6 to 8. Even then, they can benefit from supervision or brushing your teeth together to make sure they’re doing it properly and for the recommended amount of time.
For good oral hygiene, dentists recommend brushing your teeth and gums for two minutes, twice a day. Use low-fluoride children’s toothpaste from the age of 18 months to 6 years, then switch to adult toothpaste. Children and adults should also floss once a day to remove food and plaque trapped between their teeth.
When should I take my child to the dentist?
Kids should start to have regular dental visits beginning around 1 year of age, or 6 months after they get their first tooth. You can bring them along to your own appointment before then to help them get used to the clinic environment.
During your child’s check-up, their dentist will examine their teeth and gums to check for any signs of problems. They can also offer advice about how to take the best care of their teeth. If their dentist recommends any treatments to help protect your child’s teeth or fix a problem, they will explain exactly what’s involved so you can decide what’s best for your child.
The most common children’s dental treatments are:
Do kids get free dental care?
Many children in Australia are eligible to receive basic dental services up to $1,000 over two years through the Australian Government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). They may also be covered on your health fund. Talk to your dental clinic to find out if you’re eligible to make a claim.
Talk to a kids’ dentist in Sydney CBD
At Sydney CBD Dental, our experienced dentists help kids of all ages to maintain good oral health and lower their risk of dental disease.
To find out more, or to make an appointment with a dentist in Erskineville, call (02) 8084 7170 or book online.
Healthdirect. Dental care for children [Online] 2017 [Accessed April 2019] Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-care-for-children
Better Health Channel. Toothbrushing – children [Online] 2018 [Accessed April 2019] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/toothbrushing-children