Caring for your child’s oral health

ConfiDental, 28 Castle Street, Cahir are delighted to welcome Dr. Danielle McGeown (Dental Surgeon - B.A, B. Dent. Sc) to the practice. Dr. McGeown will be treating younger patients in the clinic on Saturdays.

Here is some advice on caring for your children’s teeth.

When your baby’s teeth first appear brush them with a soft toothbrush and water.

From age 2 brush twice a day with adult strength toothpaste – a smear age 2-4 years, a pea sized amount age 4-7 years.

The most important time to brush is just before bed at night.

Children need adult assistance to brush properly until approximately age 7.

After brushing spit out the excess toothpaste but do not rinse with water.

Mouthwashes are generally not suitable for children under 7 years of age.

For some children fluoride mouthwashes can provide an extra benefit if used at a different time from brushing but you should ask your dentist about this.

Older children age 12-16 years who have active tooth decay can benefit from the prescription of high strength fluoride toothpastes prescribed by your dentist.

Parents should keep their mouths clean and get dental decay treated as the bacteria which cause decay can be passed to your child’s mouth.

Diet control is the most important factor in preventing decay in children.

Never let your baby/child go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Wean your child to cow’s milk as early as possible (breast and formula milk both contain more sugar).

A child’s main drinks should be milk and water with juices/fizzy drinks reserved only for special occasions.

Even ‘no added sugar’ dilutable juice can cause your child’s teeth to decay.

Children should have 5-6 set times to eat during the day. No snacking/grazing at food should be allowed outside these times as the frequent consumption of food, (even healthy snacks such as fruit or yoghurt) can cause decay.

Sweet foods should be eaten in one sitting and not eaten over a prolonged time.

It is important not to eat sugar just before bedtime as the sugar stays around the teeth longer at night because there is less saliva to wash it away.