Prevention • Oral Hygiene Instruction
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What type of tooth-brush should my child use?
Use a soft bristled brush that is age appropriate in size. Electric toothbrushes are available for children but should only be used after consulting with the dentist.
When to brush?
Twice a day, after breakfast and immediately before bed (water only after night-time brushing).
Should I brush my child’s teeth?
Parents should brush a child’s teeth up to the age of 7.
What toothpaste should I use?
• Children under 2 years: Brush teeth but NO toothpaste
• Children aged 2-6 years: Toothpaste (1000ppm Fluoride)
• Children older than 6 years: Toothpaste (1400ppm Fluoride)
Encourage children to spit out the toothpaste rather than rinsing. It is beneficial for some toothpaste to stay on the teeth to help fight tooth decay
Toothpaste should be kept out of reach of children and they should never be allowed eat it from the tube
Should my child use mouthwash?
Children should only use a mouthwash if recommended by your dentist. It is not a substitute for correct tooth-brushing. Mouthwash should be used at a different time to brushing, for example after school.
Should my child be Flossing?
Cleaning between a child’s teeth with floss should start when the toothbrush no longer fits between the teeth. Brushing alone will not remove all the plaque from your child’s teeth. Flossing should be carried out once a day after brushing.
1. Wrap the floss around your two middle fingers and then use your thumb and index finger to manoeuvre the floss (as shown in the picture's below).
2. Glide the waxed floss down in between the teeth and hug the tooth in front (making a C shape around the tooth) then pull the floss back up. Repeat this step around the opposite tooth.
3. Keep repeating step 2 until you have flossed all of the teeth. If you are having difficulty flossing your child's teeth, try it with them lying down and their head on your lap.Your child's gums may bleed a little for the first few days of flossing, this is completely normal and means you are getting rid of all the bad bacteria down in between the gums.
- A child should have a well-balanced diet to maintain good oral and general health. This should include a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and 2 snacks
- Milk and water are the recommended drinks to support healthy tooth development
- Juices and sugary drinks should be avoided and never taken between meals
- Acidic fruits such as apples and oranges should be eaten at meal times and not as a snack
- Frequent snacking between meals should be avoided
What about treats?
- Not every day...
- The treat should be eaten immediately after a meal
- Avoid chewy, sticky treats that take a long time to eat and clear in the mouth
- If your child is having juice as a treat it should be at meal times only
Use the food pyramid link below to help you plan healthy meals and snacks for your child:
Healthy Food for All - preschool guidelines
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