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Learn about Hygiene for Kids

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Advice from Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDSTePe's specialist in pediatric dentistry

Establishing good oral hygiene routines at a young age is the first step towards healthy teeth for the rest of your child’s life.

The first teeth

The primary teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, often start emerging around 8 months of age, but there are great individual differences. Usually, the front teeth in the lower jaw emerge first. When the child is around 18 months the first molars start appearing, and by the age of 3, all primary teeth will usually be in place. In total, the child gets 20 primary teeth, 10 in each jaw.

The permanent teeth

From around 6 to 13 years of age, the primary teeth are successively replaced by the next set of teeth, the 28 permanent or adult teeth. The first permanent molar emerges right behind the last primary tooth at the back of the mouth. It can be difficult to detect and clean, and the biting surface is irregular and extra sensitive to cavities, so it is important to brush properly.

Brush from the very first tooth

When the first tooth begins to emerge, it is time to start brushing. Help the child to brush until the age of 10. A small child doesn’t have the manual skills to brush properly and can’t see the consequences of careless brushing. An older child may have to brush under your supervision.

When brushing is difficult

All children sometimes refuse to brush their teeth. Try not to give up, create a positive atmosphere around the brushing routine - perhaps using a song or a story could make it more fun?

Toothbrushing does not necessarily need to take place in the bathroom. You could just as well brush in bed or at a desk- let the child lie on it's back with the head nearest to you. The little older child can sit on your lap, leaning the bend in your arm.

Go to bed with clean teeth

A good rule is to always go to bed with clean teeth. During the night, there is less saliva in the mouth, which makes the teeth more vulnerable to caries.

How to Brush

Brush your child’s teeth twice a day using a TePe Zoo toothbrush. This brush has a small brush head and soft bristles. The handle fits perfectly into a child’s hand as well as the adult helping the child to brush.

Apply small amount of toothpaste – the size of a child’s little fingernail – to the toothbrush. Brush the inside, outside and biting surfaces of the teeth. Always brush in the same order, to make sure no tooth surface is forgotten.

Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle so that the filaments reach the gum line. Brush with light pressure using small movements.

Once a day, help clean between your child’s teeth using a TePe Mini Flosser. It’s a pre loaded floss holder. This step should always be done with the assistance of an adult.

Use the TePe Compact Tuft to clean erupting molars. The angled neck and rounded brush head makes it easy to reach erupting molars which are irregular and sensitive to cavities.