Keeping teeth clean is important for good dental health. A regular routine will help keep teeth healthy and decay-free.
Teeth are useful for cutting, tearing and chewing food. Teeth break up food into little pieces, making it easier to swallow and digest. There are four types of teeth;
By around the age of three children will have all 20 of their baby teeth. When they reach five or six years old, these teeth will begin to fall out and are replaced by 32 adult teeth.
You should start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. This is usually at about 6 months old, but can be earlier or later.
How To Brush Teeth Well
Brush at least twice a day. Just before bed and another time that fits in with your routine.
Brushing a baby's teeth
Brushing a child's teeth
My child doesn't like their teeth being brushed?
Not all children like having their teeth brushed. It can take time and patience to get used to. You could try using;
Teeth Brushing Demonstration
If teeth are not cleaned properly, a sticky substance known as plaque sticks to the tooth enamel (the hard white outer covering of our teeth).
Plaque contains bacteria that will feed on the sugars and acids left over from food and drink in your mouth. This can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
If plaque is not removed it turns to ‘tartar’ which is hard and discolours the teeth.
Brushing teeth twice a day is an easy way to get rid of bacteria and acid so that they do not cause lasting damage to teeth and gums.
Visiting a Dentist
Visiting an NHS dentist is free for children. They should have their first appointment at the dentist by the age of one, or six months after their first tooth appears.
This is important because:
Being a Role Model
Being a good role model with your own mouth care is very important;
If you are struggling to make changes and would like some support, you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.