How do I keep my child's teeth healthy?

Quick Tips for Brushing Milk Teeth

By Alexandra Smith

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Obviously juice and sweets are bad for teeth so try to avoid too much of those but your child's teeth-brushing routine is far more important. We use a sticker chart we got for free to remind us to brush twice a day. It is recommended that you brush your child's teeth for two minutes, or less if they have only got a few teeth. I also give my children their brushes after that to let them try to do it themselves for a while too.

What toothpaste?

For babies, toddlers and preschoolers, you may occasionally want to use a small amount of 1400ppm for teeth which are getting stained (by fruit juice for example) but a 1000ppm is generally recommended for under 3s. Only use a smeared amount of toothpaste for under 3s and use a pea sized blob when your child knows how to spit out the toothpaste foam after brushing.

What brush?

A really small headed brush with a short handle for the under 2s is best (especially if you plan to let them use it themselves too). The ones pictured are sold in most pound shops. A slightly larger one can be used after that but make sure your child likes it and change it when the bristles become damaged or if it has been used for three months.

When?

In the morning, just after they wake up, and in the evening, just before they go to bed. Also, get them in to the habit of trying to go to the toilet while they're in the bathroom (it will make potty training easier). Don't brush straight after eating as this is when saliva is breaking down food in the mouth and the teeth may have been weakened by whatever has been eaten so brushing could actually do more damage than good at this time (e.g. weakening teeth by drinking cola then brushing them straight afterwards is bad).

Other info:

Visit your dentist every 6 months. In the UK, it's free for under 16s and they also give you free stuff (we were just given a free toothbrush and toothpaste).

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Disclaimer: These tips are created from lessons I have learnt during my own experience.  With regard to the content and advice on this blog, Alexandra Smith makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability or suitability for anyone. Any reliance you place on the blog or its content is at your own discretion and in no event will Alexandra be liable for any loss, damage or injury in connection with your use.

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