Caring for your baby’s teeth
You should not worry too much if your baby’s teeth appear earlier or later than other kids their age because this can vary quite a bit. Your baby should see the dentist when their first tooth appears or by their first birthday. Be sure to always be positive about dentist visits to your child and never use the dentist as a deterrent for bad behaviour.
A lot of parents use the word ‘brave’ when referring to visiting the dentist, however, using this word indicates to your child that there is a reason to be scared. Instead, why not commend them on their good listening skills when in the dental chair – take a positive approach, don’t make your little one think there is a reason to be afraid.
Brushing your baby’s teeth
Through infancy, although your baby does not have teeth, clean and massage their gums daily with a soft damp cloth. Once your baby’s teeth erupt into the mouth, at around 6-12 months of age, continue to clean both the teeth and gums twice daily, after breakfast and before bed.
You may continue using a soft, damp cloth to begin with, then move to a small, soft children’s toothbrush, to clean all surfaces of the teeth. Don’t use toothpaste before your baby is 18 months of age unless directed by your dental practitioner. At 18 months of age, you may introduce a fluoridated toothpaste. Low dose fluoride toothpaste is available for use in children between 18 months to 6 years of age.
The Australian Dental Association encourages the improvement of the oral and general health of the public & promotes the ethics, art and science of dentistry.