Tooth decay occurs faster in children than adults, so it is vital to establish a healthy oral care routine with your child as early as possible. The dentists at Dr David Young & Associates in Chatswood, have compiled their top tips on how to establish healthy dental habits with your child.
1. BRUSH MORNING & NIGHT
With a manual brush, jiggle for three seconds or ‘elephants’ (count ‘elephant 1, elephant 2, elephant 3’) on each surface of each tooth on the outside gum line (start at end tooth) and each surface of each tooth on the inside gum line. This should total two minute use. Just manoeuvre for three elephants on each surface of each tooth. Do not scrub! Two minutes is required to remove enough plaque and also it takes two minutes to achieve a diffusion gradient of fluoride into the tooth, if adult toothpaste is used. If your child can’t spit or likes to swallow toothpaste, just use a smear of kid’s toothpaste (lower fluoride concentration). If they can spit, use about a pea size of adult toothpaste. Round oscillating electric toothbrushes are good for kids too.
2. FLOSS BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND BABY MOLARS NIGHTLY (RAIN, HAIR OR SHINE!)
We find 80% of kids decay is between these two teeth. Oral B Flossettes are good for kids – disposable but can reuse many times. The second molar doesn’t erupt and touch the first molar until three years old. These teeth are needed until age 12. It’s also great to get some fluoride varnish between the first and second baby molars, and on the 6-year-old molars.
3. HAVE REGULAR 6 MONTHLY CHECK-UPS AT THE DENTIST
Make sure you take your child to the dentist every six months.
4. EAT CHEESE!
Cheese is great for kids teeth. Lollies, frequent fruit juice, dried fruit, sweet cakes and biscuits, and soft drinks are not!