Statistics released in the last 5 years have shown an increase in the number of kids with decaying baby teeth.
According to the Queensland Child Oral Health Survey 2010-2012, almost one in every three children (30%) aged 5–10 years old at the time of the survey had at least one baby tooth with untreated decay.
So, in the spirit of Dental Health Week this August, we thought we would discuss baby (milk) teeth and highlight some good oral health habits to pass on to your children so their milk teeth remain healthy and whole. We will also discuss the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CBDS) and how it could possibly cover the cost of your child’s visits to the dentist.
When do babies start teething?
Most commonly babies will begin to teethe around the six-month-old mark. They may start teething earlier or later and will generally have all of their baby teeth around the age of 3. Babies will get 20 primary teeth which will begin to fall out when they are 6 years old to make space for the adult teeth.
Warning: be wary of the amber teething necklace
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, David Bradbury issued a notice back in 2011 warning parents that if they are considering purchasing an amber teething necklace for their baby, they should be aware of the dangers of choking.
According to the warning notice issued after the ACCC tested a number of products, the small fossilised beads of tree resin, claiming to allegedly ease teething symptoms, can break into smaller pieces. For more information, follow through to the warning here.
When should I begin cleaning my baby’s mouth?
You should begin cleaning your baby’s gums with a gentle cloth every night before you put them to bed. Only put them to sleep with water (if necessary) – do not use milk or formula.
How do I brush and floss my baby’s teeth?
Once your child’s first teeth erupt, we recommend you begin brushing and flossing between them straight away. Brush gently with a children’s toothbrush twice a day. The best way to do this is by creating a little game of it or brushing with them so that you can show them how it’s done and monitor them at the same time. Flossing can be done by sitting your child on your lap and carefully flossing between their teeth in the evenings.
If you are having trouble with a toothbrush or are afraid of fluoride toothpaste, you can wrap gauze around your finger and brush the teeth with it. Gauze can be used without toothpaste.
Should I use fluoride-free toothpaste?
At Bulimba Dental here in Brisbane, we understand that it really is quite difficult to stop your little ones from swallowing their toothpaste. However, during the baby teeth stage (and with adult teeth) we recommend that you do use fluoride toothpaste when you brush their teeth. You only need to use a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste to clean their teeth and it is particularly necessary if you choose to avoid fluoridated drinking water.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)
Did you know the CDBS can provide you with up to $1000 worth of basic dental services for your child? The $1000 can be used over two calendar years, but cannot be used after that two year period. Find out more about the Child Dental Benefits Schedule here.
Find out more about baby teeth at Bulimba Dental Brisbane
For more information, or to book a consultation for your child, contact our friendly team at Bulimba Dental here in Brisbane. We will endeavour to provide you with helpful advice so your child’s smile will remain healthy and strong for life.