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Big smiles
Key points
  • Stains on your child’s teeth are a sign of an inadequate brushing routine
  • Don’t worry if your child’s teeth take longer than most to come through
  • Bring your toddler to us for check-ups every six months

HOW REGULARLY SHOULD MY TODDLER'S TEETH BE CHECKED?

Young children should see the dentist as often as adults, every six months. Your dentist might recommend appointments sooner than that if your child has an ongoing issue with their teeth or to get them used to the dentist.

AT WHAT AGE CAN MY TODDLER BRUSH THEIR OWN TEETH?

Your child will need your help to brush their teeth until they're around seven or eight-years-old, but their toddler years offer the perfect opportunity to let them have a little try on their own with supervision.

Did you know?

At mydentist, all children over three years old are offered fluoride varnishes for free. This is a process in which a varnish of concentrated fluoride is painted onto the surface of your child's teeth to strengthen the enamel, and help protect from decay. This is recommended twice a year.

HOW CAN I MAKE MY TODDLER LESS SCARED OF THE DENTIST?

Even some adults find the dentist's office a scary place, so it's understandable that our children often do too! Luckily, there are a few ways you can help your child embrace the idea of going for a check up:

  • Start early. Regular visits are the first step in keeping your toddler calm during appointments. We recommend at least one visit before their first birthday.
  • Rehearse the visit. Before their check up, pretend to be the dentist,ask them to open their mouth and using something like a toothbrush, pretend to check their teeth. This will familiarise your child with the process and make them much more relaxed.
  • Try a book. There are some great books to help your child to understand what happens during a visit to the dentist. Some great options include Peppa Pig's Dentist Trip, Dora the Explorer's Dora Goes to the Dentist and Spongebob Squarepants Behold No Cavities!
  • Don't bribe them! It may seem like a good idea, but offering your child a treat if they visit the dentist can actually increase their anxiety. It tells them there is something to be anxious about.
  • Bring their favourite toy. A familiar friend will help them feel at ease. 
Dino

CAN SIPPY CUPS OR BOTTLES HARM MY CHILD'S TEETH?

Yes.​ It's a problem most parents aren't aware of, but sippy cups and bottles are in fact two of the leading causes of tooth decay in the UK. Giving a child a bottle containing milk, formula or any drink other than water for a long period of time can seriously damage their teeth – especially just before bedtime. Bottles and sippy cups expose your child's teeth to a prolonged acid attack which can cause serious tooth decay. To prevent any damage, ensure their bottle is taken away as soon as they've finished drinking, and don't give them any sweetened drinks in a bottle.

Top Tip:

Limiting fruit juice to meal times will greatly reduce your toddler's exposure to sugar, which can badly damage their teeth.

Tail

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD'S TEETH ARE SLOW TO GROW THROUGH?

Every child's development is different, and your child's teeth will come through when they're ready. The length of time they take can even vary between your children so it can often be hard to predict when they'll lose all their baby teeth. If you have any worries, you can always visit us for a check up.

Providing NHS Dentistry