Why It’s Important to Take Care of Your Toddler’s Teeth

By looking after your child’s pearly whites from an early age, they’ll have better oral health for the future.

By the time your child is two years old, they will have most of their baby teeth. The baby teeth save space for their adult teeth that start coming in around age six. But just because they will lose their baby teeth eventually doesn’t mean they don’t need to be looked after now. By having healthy baby teeth, your child will usually go on to have healthy adult teeth as well. Let’s look at how you can best care for their teeth as a toddler.

 

FIVE STEPS TO A HEALTHY SMILE
  1. Brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day.
  2. Have regular dental check-ups.
  3. Once a month, gently lift the lip of your child’s mouth to check for signs of tooth decay (look for white spots on the gumline).
  4. Choose healthy meals and snacks.
  5. Drink water or milk.

 

TIPS FOR TEETH BRUSHING
  • Use a small soft-bristled brush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Standing behind your child and gently tilting their head back can make brushing easier.
  • Teach your tamariki to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
  • They shouldn’t rinse with water after brushing as the fluoride from the toothpaste helps to protect their teeth.
In New Zealand, children aged 0-17 (until their 18th birthday) are entitled to free basic oral healthcare services. Your child will usually have their first check-up with a dental professional between their first and second birthday. To enrol for this service, call 0800 TALK TEETH (0800 825 583).

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