Babies, infants and children
Early Childhood Caries (Infant Tooth Decay) can occur soon after the baby teeth erupt, usually between nine months and two years.
The risk of developing Early Childhood Caries is greatly increased when children use bottles containing sweetened drinks. Infant tooth decay is less common in breastfed babies.
Preventing Early Childhood Caries:
- Put only breast milk, water or formula in your baby's bottle
- Never put cordial soft drink or juice in your baby's bottle
- Try introducing the use of a cup from about 6 months of age
- Try to stop bottle use from about 12 months of age
- If using a dummy, do not add flavouring
Hints for good oral health:
- Brush your child's teeth as soon as they appear
- Use a small toothbrush with soft bristles
- Use a pea size of low fluoride toothpaste (e.g. My First Colgate, Macleans Milk Teeth, Oral B Stages)
- As your child gets older teach them to spit out after brushing
- Children should not be allowed to dispense toothpaste without supervision
To help preschool aged and older children understand tooth brushing you can download How to Brush.