When Do Children’s Teeth Come Through

  • You would expect all of the baby teeth (20) to erupt by the age of three.
  • These will then space out gradually over the next three years.
  • At the age of six, the first adult teeth will start to erupt, molars behind the baby teeth and the lower front teeth will start to get loose.
  • On average by the age of twelve the last of the baby teeth will be lost leaving a mouth with 28 teeth in total.
  • At around eighteen years of age the wisdom teeth my start erupting bringing the total number of teeth to 32.

Brushing Tips

Start to brush your baby’s gums with a soft toothbrush at bath time, to establish brushing as part of a daily routine.

  • When the first tooth starts to erupt you can start using a fluoride toothpaste containing around 500ppm fluoride. 
  • This will help to prevent tooth decay whilst being safe. 
  • This is usually around six months but can be sooner or later.
  • For children who do not like the taste of toothpaste, flavour free OraNurse is worth trying.
  • Children under the age of two can use a smear of toothpaste containing at least 500ppm (parts per million) fluoride. Toothpaste with less fluoride is not as effective at preventing decay.
  • Children between the ages of two and six should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste containing 1,000 ppm fluoride. Check the toothpaste packet for this information or ask your dentist.  
  • Children over 6 can use normal toothpaste but the quantity should be restricted to a pea sized blob.
  • Make sure your child doesn’t eat or lick the toothpaste from the brush.
  • Brushing should be for two minutes as for adults with similar advice to spit out but not rinse afterwards
  • Children should be supervised until about the age of seven.
  • However, even then you need to watch every now and then to ensure that it is being done properly and to supplement this with the occasional use of disclosing tablets to show where the plaque is. 

A timer is always useful to ensure that they brush properly for the whole two minutes.

Don’t let children run around with the toothbrush in the mouth as there is a danger of damage if they fall.

Getting Children to Brush Long Enough

One of the biggest problems we see is that of poor oral hygiene in children. Plaque removal is fairly simple if children brush for long enough. Here are some tips:

  • Brush for a minimum of 2 minutes twice a day
  • Use disclosing tablets (available from chemists) (or food dye on a cotton bud applied to the teeth) to show children where plaque is. Do this once week
  • Use a timer for 2 minutes
  • Some electric tooth brushes have timers and beep after each 30 seconds. Use this to brush a different area of the mouth
  • Listen to a favourite song whilst brushing for the whole track
  • Brush Gangnam Style!! This has been shown to be a good length and correct tempo!!!

Taking your child to the dentist

  • The first visit to the dentist should be before the age of two to get them used to going before any real need for treatment
  • We can give advice about decay and identify any potential problems early. At this stage we will be content to just count the teeth. As they get older we can introduce more things.
  • If you are nervous yourself about visiting the dentist yourself it is probably advisable to bring your child / children to a separate appointment. It is easy for apprehension to be picked up on. If you are happy visiting the dentist they will be fine visiting at the same time.