Brushing teeth and the first visit to the dentist - but when?

As always, a small argument in the evening: the children still have to brush their teeth - but they don't want to and they go on strike. After a long discussion and explanations as to why brushing teeth is important, the little one does brush his or her teeth. What every parent has probably asked themselves: How important is it to brush the teeth of small children? And at what age should one start brushing?



At what age should children start brushing their teeth?


Even during breastfeeding, the baby's first milk teeth are not spared sugar. This is because mother's milk contains sugar. As soon as the first milk tooth appears, brushing should begin. This time usually comes at the age of six months. From this point on, parents should brush their children's teeth twice a day.



What should children use to brush their teeth?


You should use a special baby toothbrush with soft bristles and a baby toothpaste. The latter should have a suitable fluoride content of 500 to a maximum of 1000 ppm. If 1000 ppm is used, then a blob of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice is enough. Some people also like to use knobbed finger toothbrushes. These help to apply more pressure on the baby's teeth. Many people also like the massage that you can give the little one in the mouth with this knobbed brush. You can give the little ones such a massage even before their first teeth come in. This is a playful way to get them used to brushing their teeth.



Until when does the child need the support of the parents?


Before children can brush their teeth independently, their fine motor skills must have developed sufficiently. Strictly speaking, parents should therefore continue brushing until the child is 8 years old or at least monitor the child closely. A good benchmark for this is mastery of cursive writing. Since the development of motor skills is very individual for each child, the timing can vary from child to child. However, it is also important that parents do not take over the "whole cleaning job" for too long. If you start practising at an early age, you will learn the correct brushing technique best.



When should you go to the dentist for the first time?


It makes sense to introduce the child to regular visits to the dentist from the first tooth onwards. On the one hand, this builds confidence, as the child gets to know the dental practice, staff and procedures at an early age, and on the other hand, parents can get valuable tips on proper dental care and oral health for their children. The health insurance companies also offer early detection examinations from the age of 6 months. For example, a high risk of caries due to poor eating habits can be detected in time, before a "hole" in the tooth or pain actually occurs. If something does need to be drilled, the child (and everyone else involved) benefits if he or she has already been to the dentist before and the environment seems familiar. Because let's face it: everyone is probably nervous before their first visit to the dentist! 


A little trick at the end


If your child doesn't feel like brushing his/her teeth, make a deal with him/her: The little one can help you brush his/her teeth and you can brush his/her teeth in return. That's how it´s done!



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