The first baby teeth usually come in between the ages of around six and eight months. Once they have emerged it is time to start brushing them. Dental hygiene in small children should be maintained by wiping the baby’s teeth with a clean piece of gauze morning and evening. You should only start using a toothbrush when the child is a year old.

When is the right time for the first visit to the dentist? 

The answer to this question is that it is never too early. But if your child’s teeth are emerging normally, with no excessive redness or pain, then you can bring her to visit the dentist when she is two years old. If there are any difficulties during teething, or you have any questions you need answered, you can go to see your dentist. The most important thing is that the child begin to become accustomed to visiting the dentist and that oral health is monitored and regular hygiene maintained. In addition it is important you teach your child to brush her teeth herself. You can turn it into a fun family ritual – put some music on and practice brushing your teeth with your child. Children learn best through imitation and that is why they need to watch you brushing your teeth. In the beginning you will help your child with brushing, but as she grows and becomes more independent she will assume responsibility for the task. We recommend you squeeze out a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and later ensure the child learns to judge this amount herself.

You should choose a toothpaste that is endorsed by the Serbian Dental Association and recommended by your dentist, not just one that has been advertised heavily. The same applies to toothbrushes. Your child should only begin using fluoride toothpaste after the age of two.

You should be aware that tooth decay can affect milk teeth and can be rather unpleasant – the child will be unable to chew her food normally because of the pain. This problem can be addressed too, though, since milk teeth can be repaired. Dental procedures are more tricky with very small children. The aim is to preserve the milk tooth until it falls out naturally with the emergence of adult teeth.

Some things you can do to prevent decay are to avoid giving your child large quantities of sweets and sugary drinks and to teach the child to brush her teeth after eating anything sweet. In doing so she will maintain optimal pH in her mouth which will prevent the proliferation of bacteria and reduce the risk of decay.

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