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How do I look after my child’s teeth?
Getting your child into a proper dental routine is important for developing strong, healthy teeth. Consider taking your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear.
It’s important to limit sugary foods, such as fizzy drinks and sweets. If you give your child something sweet, try to do so only at mealtimes. Remember that even healthy food, like dried fruits, can be high in sugar.
Proper brushing can start even before teeth begin to appear. You can brush your baby’s gums with a soft brush or some clean muslin wrapped around your finger. Once they have their milk teeth, brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes. As your child gets older, you can start letting them do it themselves under your supervision. However, children under the age of 7 rarely brush their teeth adequately so you may need to ‘finish off’.
You can also consider fluoride varnishes and fissure sealants. Fluoride varnish can be painted onto teeth every six months to prevent decay. Fissure sealants can be used once permanent back teeth come through, they are a long-lasting, thin plastic coating that covers the back teeth to keep food out. They are both quick and pain free options that you can discuss with your dentist.
Establishing a healthy routine and getting your child used to going to the dentist (even by having them come with you to your appointment) will help ensure good dental health.