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Babies and Toddlers

The establishment of positive oral health measures from an early age will give babies and toddlers the best grounding for good oral health as their teeth develop over time. Below are some tips for parents on scheduling your child’s first dental visit:

  • Ideally,  aim to schedule your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday
  • Appointments are more productive  when the child is most alert and not tired.
  • Have your child’s medical records available if required by the dentist.

Tips for encouraging health teeth for babies and toddlers

  • In the lead up to the baby’s teeth first erupting, clean their mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time. This helps prepare for the teeth cleaning that will soon begin.
  • Once teeth have begun erupting, clean the teeth at least twice a day with a toothbrush which is specifically designed for small children.
  • Never dip a pacifier in anything sweet, this can lead to serious tooth decay.

Fluoride For Babies

Even if the baby teeth have not erupted, infant’s still need fluoride to help developing teeth grow strong. A dentist will determine the child’s fluoride needs during the initial consultation.

Children older than six months may need a fluoride supplement if their drinking water does not contain the ideal amount of fluoride. Fluoride has been shown to reduce tooth decay by as much as 50 percent.

 

Please note, some of the above information has been adapted from the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY 2013 ‘Fast Facts’ factsheet

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