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Caring for Your Child’s Teeth: A Dentist’s Guide

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Children's Dentistry, Dental Check-ups, Dental Visits, Family Dentists in Geelong, Free Kids Dental

Our dentists always keep you parents in mind as you embark on the journey of maintaining and nurturing your child’s dental health. Good oral hygiene is crucial from a young age, and at Norlane Dental Aesthetics and Implants, we’re committed to offering expert advice and practical tips to ensure this journey is as smooth as possible. Let’s dive into some of the most common questions we hear from parents, along with our expert advice – then you’ll have our Dentist’s Guide to caring for your child’s teeth!

At what age should I start brushing my child’s teeth? How often?

Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears, typically around six months. Use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush with water twice daily. From 18 months to six years, introduce a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste.

What toothpaste is safe for use with toddlers?

Choose a low-fluoride toothpaste specially formulated for young children to ensure they get necessary fluoride without the risk of ingesting too much.

My child’s baby teeth haven’t come through. Is this normal?

While most children have their first tooth by 6 to 10 months, delays up to 12 to 14 months are normal. Consult your dentist if no teeth have appeared by 18 months.

What ages should my child’s teeth come through?

The first teeth usually appear around six months, with all 20 primary teeth typically in place by age three. The timing can vary, but the pattern of eruption is generally consistent. Whatever the timing, it’s important to start caring for your child’s teeth as early as possible.

My toddler won’t let me brush their teeth, what can I do?

Make brushing fun by singing, using character toothbrushes, or brushing together. Consistency and patience are key. If difficulties persist, try a finger brush or seek further advice from your dentist.

How can I tell if my child has tooth decay?

Look for signs like white spots or brown areas on the teeth, and sensitivity or discomfort. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection and treatment.

What should I do if my child chips a tooth?

Contact your dentist immediately. Quick action can mean saving the tooth, especially if you can find and preserve the chipped piece.

How often should children visit the dentist?

Caring for your child’s teeth means having your first visit to your dentist at one year old. Children should visit the dentist every six months for check-ups and preventive care, unless advised otherwise.

Are thumb sucking and pacifier use harmful to my child’s teeth?

Prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use can lead to dental issues like misaligned teeth. It’s best to discourage these habits by age three.

Can diet affect my child’s oral health?

Absolutely. A diet high in sugars and starches can increase the risk of tooth decay. Encourage healthy eating habits for better oral health.

What are dental sealants, and does my child need them?

Dental sealants are protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent decay. They are recommended for children as their permanent teeth come in.

How do I prepare my child for their first dental visit?

Talk about the dentist in a positive light, read books about dental visits, and play “dentist” to familiarize them with what to expect.

What is the best way to prevent cavities in children?

Good oral hygiene practices, a balanced diet, regular dental check-ups, and treatments like fluoride varnish and dental sealants are key.

Is fluoride varnish safe for children, and how often should it be applied?

Fluoride varnish is safe and effective for reducing the risk of cavities in children. It’s typically applied every six months, starting at the age of one.

How can I help my child overcome fear of the dentist?

Choose a child-friendly dentist, use positive reinforcement, and avoid using the dentist as a threat. A calm and supportive approach can alleviate fears.

Should baby teeth be pulled if they’re loose, or should they fall out naturally?

It’s best to allow baby teeth to fall out naturally to avoid damage to the underlying permanent teeth.

What are the signs of gum disease in children?

Look for red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad breath, and gum recession. Early detection and treatment are vital.

How important are baby teeth since they fall out anyway?

Baby teeth play a crucial role in speech development, nutrition, and guiding permanent teeth into position. Maintaining their health is essential.

What to do in case of a dental emergency involving a child?

Stay calm, and contact your dentist immediately. Quick and appropriate action can make a significant difference in the outcome.

How can parents encourage good oral hygiene habits in children?

Lead by example, make oral hygiene fun, and use positive reinforcement to build healthy habits.

Are sports drinks safe for my child’s teeth?

Sports drinks can be high in sugar and acids, posing a risk for tooth decay. Water is the best hydration choice for young athletes.

How does bottle feeding affect my child’s teeth?

Prolonged bottle-feeding, especially with sugary liquids, can lead to tooth decay. Transition to a cup as your child approaches their first birthday.

What are the consequences of early tooth loss in children?

Early tooth loss can lead to misaligned permanent teeth. Preserve baby teeth until they are naturally lost.

How to manage teething pain and discomfort?

Use teething rings, cold spoons, or gently rub your child’s gums. Avoid teething gels with benzocaine for children under two.

Can orthodontic issues be detected early in children?

Yes, early assessments can identify potential issues, allowing for timely interventions if necessary.

Useful Links: Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Below are five invaluable resources for parents looking to deepen their understanding of child dental care and to ensure their children enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Australian Dental Association (ADA) – Mouth Healthy Kids: The ADA’s dedicated section for children’s oral health provides a wealth of information on how to care for your child’s teeth at every stage of their development. From brushing tips to understanding the importance of dental visits, this resource is a must-visit for parents.

Visit Australian Dental Association

Raising Children Network – Dental Care for Children: This Australian parenting website offers comprehensive guides on children’s dental care, including how to deal with common issues like teething and thumb sucking, and advice on finding and visiting the dentist.

Visit Raising Children Network

Better Health Channel – Teeth Development in Children: Provided by the Victorian Government, this page details the stages of teeth development in children, common dental problems, and how to prevent them. It’s an excellent guide for understanding what to expect as your child grows.

Visit Better Health Channel

Healthy Kids – Oral Health: Healthy Kids is run by the NSW Government and offers advice on keeping kids healthy, including their oral health. The site includes tips on healthy eating for oral health, how to brush and floss properly, and the importance of fluoride.

Visit Healthy Kids

My Child’s Teeth – Oral Health Advice for Parents: This site offers tailored advice for every stage of your child’s dental health journey, from infancy through the teenage years. It includes practical tips on brushing, flossing, and dental visits, as well as how to handle dental emergencies.

Visit My Child’s Teeth

We hope these insights help you feel more equipped to manage your child’s dental health. Remember, at Norlane Dental Aesthetics and Implants, we’re here to support you every step of the way in ensuring your family’s smiles remain healthy and bright.


Ready to make a booking for your child?

Now is the time to schedule an appointment!

At Norlane Dental Aesthetics and Implants, we believe everyone deserves excellent quality dentistry, and our goal is to help you achieve this.

Contact us at (03) 5278 2666 or make your appointment online, and we’ll assist you in realising your desire for a pearly white smile.

Visit us at 21 Princes Highway in Norlane.

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