19 Broughton St Kirribilli
NSW 2061
19 Broughton St Kirribilli
NSW 2061
A KB Village dentist explaining teeth to a young patient

The Best Daily Dental Routine for Kids

It’s important to have a good dental routine, no matter your age. This is especially important for children, as it impacts the rest of their lives. However, unfortunately in Australia, children between the ages of 5-10 have an average of 1.5 decayed, missing or filled baby teeth.These issues, along with things like early gum disease, periodontal disease, cavities and tooth loss can all be avoided with lifelong healthy habits formed at an early age.

Our family dentist has a few practical tips and guidelines for your child to practice on a daily basis. Keep reading to discover the best dental routine for every age.

The best dental routine for children of every age

Dentist explaining oral hygiene tips to young girl

For dental hygiene practices to be welcomed and accepted by children, they have to be age appropriate. Their changing age and growing teeth will mean their needs will vary.

Here’s a guide for what to expect and what to do for each stage of childhood:

Dental routine for ages 0-12 months

You may still be reeling from being up through the night with your teething baby, and once those teeth come, they need to be cared for!

We recommend bringing your child in for a dental check as soon as their first tooth comes through. From there, begin the lifelong practice of regular dental checkups every 6-12 months, regardless of whether there is an issue.

As soon as that first tooth appears, you can also begin the practice of tooth brushing with your child. At such a young age, this can simply be done with a finger brush attachment.

Best dental care products for this age:

  • Silicone finger toothbrush
  • Silicone teething toys and rings
  • Age-appropriate pain relief for teething pain

Dental routine for ages 1-3 years

Even in these early years, regular dental check-ups are important. Regardless of whether your child has dental issues, the regular visits will instil confidence in your child for future visits, and ensure they know the dentist is a safe place to be, all while the dentist keeps track of their tooth health and growth patterns.

Toddlers aren’t known to be the most compliant, but it’s still imperative to brush their teeth twice a day at this age. Use a small, soft bristled brush, and from 18 months you can begin using a fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities.

Best dental care products for this age:

  • Toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Children’s fluoride toothpaste (from 18 months)

Dental routine for ages 3-10 years

It is recommended that parents still help children brush their teeth and gums until they are around seven or eight years old. Even then, it’s important to supervise the process to ensure it is being done properly.

Tooth brushing should be done for two minutes, twice a day, and you can also introduce them to flossing.

Continue their regular kids dental checkups with your dentist who will keep track of their dental health and make any recommendations for preventative measures like dental sealants. Dental hygienists can also assist with helping to remove plaque and ensure that there are no early signs of gum disease.

Remember that their diet also plays a part in their oral health. Ensure that they have a healthy diet and avoid sugary drinks like soft drinks and sports drinks and sugary foods like lollies, biscuits and rollups. Fluoridated tap water is also an excellent choice for their teeth.

Best dental care products for this age:

  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Fluoride toothpaste (children’s toothpaste for 6 years and under)
  • Children’s floss picks

Dental routine for 10 years and above

As your child becomes more independent, ensure that the healthy habits you’ve taught them continue with regular, twice a day brushing and flossing.

As they enter their teen years, make sure they understand the impact that things like alcohol, smoking and drugs can have on their oral health (in addition to their general health!).

Wisdom teeth will usually start to emerge from 17-25 years of age, but with regular dental visits, your dentist will be able to keep an eye on their progress and assess how best to manage them.

Best dental care products for this age:

  • A timer to track toothbrushing
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss
  • Age-appropriate pain relief for wisdom teeth

The importance of developing a good oral hygiene routine with kids

A young girl pulling the sides of a younger boy's mouth open to a smile

Good dental health is essential for the whole family. We built our family dentistry practice in North Sydney for precisely that reason.

The lessons you teach children and the habits they adopt at a young age will benefit them long into their later years of life.

The benefits of good oral health

  • Reduced risk of:
    • Heart attack
    • Diabetes
    • Oral cancer
    • Alzheimer’s
    • Stroke
  • Reduced risk of dental issues
  • Healthier gums and teeth (leading to greater longevity of natural teeth)
  • Reduced tooth sensitivity
  • Money saved through lack of dental treatments required

The consequences of poor oral health

  • Bad breath
  • Tooth decay
  • Dental diseases like periodontitis and gum disease
  • Other dental issues, decay, and tooth loss
  • Higher risk of more serious health conditions

Start dental care early for healthy teeth

Young red haired boy smiling in dental chair

When you teach children about oral health issues and why it’s important to brush their teeth, you leave them at a lower risk of a wide variety of dental problems.

In fact, the earlier you teach your kids to care for their teeth, the more likely they are to welcome it and adopt the principles themselves. This will help them avoid oral health problems, gum disease, prevent tooth decay, and positively influence their overall health.

Early experiences with a dentist are also important. Unnecessary fear of dental checkups can easily develop in children that haven’t grown up with it as a part of their general health regime. Regular, positive experiences with a dental professional are important for making sure they feel comfortable in the dental chair.

Tips for preventing tooth decay and maintaining healthy teeth and gums

A dentist showing a young patient a dental chart

Good dental care for children and adults comes down to three fundamental practices. These basics for everyone include:

  1. Good dental hygiene habits

    1. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes
    2. Floss daily (don’t rely on mouth rinse that can actually give you dry mouth!)
  2. Regular checkups

    1. Visit your dentist every 6-12 months.
    2. Your dentist will likely recommend you visit dental hygienists from time to time for a thorough cleaning to remove dental plaque and assist in caring for your teeth and gums.
  3. Consider your overall health

    1. Your overall, general, systemic health is often reflected in your oral health. If you want to keep your teeth healthy, keep your body healthy.
    2. Drinking water helps care for your teeth as well!
    3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet that avoids sugary foods, drinks and highly acidic things.
    4. Avoid unhealthy practices like drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco, smoking and drugs.

A family dentist you can trust

If you are looking for a family dentist in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, we are here for you. Our team of dental professionals are experts, while also being kind, friendly and compassionate.

Your whole family is in safe hands with our KB Village dental team.

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