Take care of your toddler's teeth

The easiest way to do this is to show your child, by example, how to brush her teeth with a toothbrush. A good idea is to give her an age-appropriate sized toothbrush when she is in the bath, and introduce it as a fun thing to do.

As she gets older, you can incorporate brushing teeth into the bedtime routine, so that going to the toilet, washing hands, then brushing teeth are all part of going to bed.

The same can apply for a "going to school" routine – toilet, wash hands, brush teeth, then leave for school.

The taste of adult toothpaste may be too strong for your child to start with, so use baby toothpaste for the first few years.

Your child's first baby teeth usually begin to fall out from the age of 6, and the last ones to go (usually the molars) occur around 12 years of age.

If a new (permanent) tooth is pushing out, and the existing tooth is not showing any signs of becoming loose, it is a good idea to let your dentist take a look – it may need to be helped along it's way!

Dental visits should start with allowing your child from the age of 2 years to accompany you when you visit the dentist. She can get to know your dentist in a friendly and unthreatening way, and have a bit of fun riding on the chair to start with.

As she becomes familiar with the environment (and gets more teeth), it will become easier for the dentist to look at her teeth.

You don't want your toddler to be around should you need serious dentalwork, so enlist some help for these visits, so that your child can be taken out the room after the fun bits!

It is a good idea to visit your dentist every 6 months.

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