Dental Caring for children’s teeth

Caring for children’s teeth

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  • SA's largest private practice
  • 30+ years' expertise
  • Accredited practice

Did you know 50% of children under the age of 6 suffer from dental decay?
Dental care is important right from the start – even before teeth start appearing.

When do babies start teething?

Babies normally start teething between three and nine months. Even before teeth start to erupt, you should regularly wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth. This will help familiarise your child with having their mouth cleaned and eventually brushed. By the age of three, most children will have their full set of baby teeth.

Are baby teeth important?

Absolutely. Baby teeth act as natural space maintainers for adult teeth. Losing a baby tooth early could cause crowding problems later when adult teeth erupt.

What age should you first take your child to the dentist?

Our dentists recommend booking an appointment when their first tooth erupts and definitely before their first birthday.

Child dental care tips

Baby teeth have a thinner layer of enamel, that means the progression of decay happens a lot faster. It’s important to practise good dental care right from the beginning – even before teeth start to appear.

  1. From the start
    Start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they erupt with a clean, damp cloth. During bath time, introduce them to brushing by giving a small soft toothbrush to play and brush with.
  2. Brushing
    Clean your child’s teeth and gums with a soft small toothbrush, morning and night. When they start brushing their own teeth, it’s best to supervise until they’re at least eight years old.
  3. Toothpaste
    Specially formulated toothpaste with lower fluoride content is recommended for children aged between 18 months and five years. From the age of six, your child can start using a pea-sized amount of adult toothpaste.
  4. Open wide
    Regularly look inside your child’s mouth and check for any signs of possible decay.
    If you notice any unusual brown or white spots, visit your Health Partners dentist.
  5. Regular check-ups
    After your child’s first visit, your Health Partners dentist will suggest how often you should schedule follow-ups – generally it’s every six months.
  6. Healthy eating habits
    Your child’s eating and drinking habits play an important role in preventing tooth decay. Our dentists recommend:
  • Sticking to healthy snacks
  • Avoiding frequent snacking of sugary treats
  • Avoiding sugary drinks likes soft drinks and juices
  • Drinking water – tap water is the best drink for kids.

Visiting the dentist for regular dental check-ups is the best way to help:

  • Keep teeth and gums healthy
  • Prevent future dental problems
  • Give you a bright and more confident smile.

More for members

Don’t pay for kids’ dental check-ups

On select Health Partners covers. Limits, waiting periods and conditions apply.

*Independently conducted research by New Focus Research, November 2016.