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Teeth & Toothbrushing

Baby Teeth

First teeth usually appear at around six months of age, but this will vary from child to child. 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.

Caring for teeth, until children are able to take care of them for themselves is an important responsibility of parents and carers. As well as regular brushing and a tooth friendly diet, it is important to think about choices around feeding and soothing your baby.

Dive Deeper

How To Brush Teeth 

Use a small round headed toothbrush and smear of toothpaste.

Brush at least twice a day. Just before bed and another time that fits in with your routine.

  • Start by sitting baby on your knee, with their head resting against your chest.
  • Brush the teeth in small circles, covering all surfaces including gums. Start slowly and gradually build up the time. 
  • You could use a piece of clean gauze or muslin cloth wrapped around your finger to clean those very first teeth.
  • There is no need to rinse with water as this will wash away the fluoride.
  • Not all children like having their teeth brushed. You could sit in front of a mirror so you can both see what is happening or sing songs. 

Baby Teeth Matter 

Although we eventually develop adult teeth, baby teeth are very important as they;

  • Allow babies and children to chew and to smile.
  • Support the development of muscles for clear speech.
  • Hold the space ready for the adult teeth to grow in to. This makes it less likely that teeth will grow crooked or be overcrowded.

There is a high risk of tooth decay if baby teeth are not cared for. This can cause painful toothache and possible infections for your child. In some cases children will have to go into hospital to have rotten teeth removed.

Keeping Teeth Healthy

  • Brush teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste containing no less that 1000ppm fluoride. 
  • Visit a dentist twice a year so that any problems are spotted early.
  • Think carefully about what families eat and drink.

First teeth usually appear at around six months of age, but this will vary from child to child. 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.

Baby Teeth and Feeding

Who can Help?

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.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below. 

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