Girls Eating Icecream cones

Baby Teething – Tooth Tips

From pre-pregnancy right through adult life, maintaining good oral health habits is important not only to build strong teeth and gums, but also to keep yourself and your family fit, healthy and happy.

Huggies, Colgate and Plunket promote good oral health habits – to help ensure a brighter smile later in life.

So to help you out, here are some dental health tips for children and families:

Prenatal maternal oral health

  • Because there is a greater risk of gum problems during pregnancy, it is a good idea to brush regularly with a toothpaste that protects gums.
  • It is recommended that you visit your dental professional to discuss your dental care.
  • And to top it off, a nutritious diet and good dental hygiene ensures baby’s teeth will be healthy and strong.

Age 0-2

  • Clean baby’s mouth, gums and tongue with gauze or washcloth before teeth appear. Once the first tooth does appear, begin cleaning baby’s teeth with a small soft bristled brush and a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Begin dental visits when first tooth appears, no later than 12 months.
  • Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day; after breakfast and before bed.
  • Use a child-sized toothbrush with only a smear of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Signs of a healthy mouth include pink gums, white teeth and no mouth sores.

Ages 2-5

  • Begin teaching your child to brush by holding the brush with them and guiding it around their mouth.
  • Remember to brush teeth at least twice a day; after breakfast and before bed.
  • Continue helping your son or daughter to brush until they’re at least six – eight years of age. You should encourage them to try first and then help to ensure that they are sparkly clean.
  • Use a child-sized toothbrush that is easy to hold and use a smear of toothpaste.

Ages 5+

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day; after breakfast and before bed.
  • Teach children to brush their tongue to remove bacteria.
  • Use a child-sized toothbrush that is easy to hold.
  • Coach brushing until age 11.
  • An adult should floss for children under eight.
  • Increase toothpaste to pea sized amount as they learn to spit after brushing.

And Remember?

Good oral health starts at home, so by making good oral health a fun daily activity your family can also combat cavities and help keep those smiles bright!

So now you’ve worked out how to take care of your children’s teeth the question is how do you encourage them to eat healthy foods that are good for their teeth? Of course some sweets are unavoidable; any parent who has had to do the grocery shopping with children can probably confirm this. They are fine in moderation but don’t forget to give their teeth a thorough clean afterwards.

What are some fun snacks that they can have that are healthy too? Here are a few of our ideas that we give to our children but we’d love to hear about your ideas in our topic called Dental Care and Tooth Tips on the Huggies Forum, or maybe you’ve got a tip for other mums on how to make brushing teeth easier and fun.

  • Apples (sliced across the apple so that they can eat around the star in the centre)
  • Pikelets (low in sugar) topped with just about anything.
  • Fruit faces (any fruit you like, and let your kids help to create it)
  • Cucumber, carrot (cooked for the younger ones) and cheese sticks
  • Cold hard boiled egg (you can create a funny face with sultanas and grated carrot, for hair)
  • Home made yoghurt (low sugar) ice creams on a stick.
  • Homemade muffins (low in sugar)
  • “Healthy Bread” cut into shapes and topped with cream cheese and carrot.

For more information see Baby teething or Baby Care