Early education is key: part one

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Part one of Coast Dental’s ‘early education is key’ series will look at providing oral health care to children up to have their first tooth.

Did you know you can look after the health of your baby’s teeth before their first tooth has erupted? By helping your baby maintain healthy gums this can positively affect the growth of their milk (or baby) teeth. And in turn looking after their milk teeth helps the growth and development of their adult teeth.

Tooth decay in baby teeth can adversely affect the health of your child’s adult teeth

It cannot be stressed just how important your baby’s milk teeth are to their oral health. By developing good baby teeth (and maintaining them), this will set your child up to have good oral health later on in life.

And you can help them before their first tooth has erupted.


The dentists at Coast Dental would advise against putting your baby to bed with milk or juice. The reason for this is, even before your child has teeth, the sugar from these drinks can affect their gums and the baby teeth that are about to erupt. By putting them to bed with a bottle of water you are looking after the health of their teeth to come.

So, when you do give your child milk or juice we recommend wiping their gums gently with a damp cloth. In fact, after meals when you would brush your teeth it is recommended you wipe your child’s gums gently with a warm cloth.

What happens when their first tooth erupts?

Around six months after your child’s first tooth erupts is a good time to bring your child into Coast Dental. Our friendly team can assess your child’s oral health, and help to familiarise them with dentistry. This way they see at a young age how the dentist can help them.

When their first tooth erupts you can clean this tooth with a tiny, tiny amount of toothpaste to help keep it clean. The importance of your child’s milk teeth are:

  1. Milk teeth get the jaw used to have teeth
  2. Develop speech
  3. Act as placeholders for adult teeth

The third reason is one of the many reasons why it is important that your child’s milk teeth are kept healthy and don’t develop decay.

Thank you for reading part one of our ‘early education is key’ series. In our next blog we will be discussing:

  • When can a child brush their own teeth?
  • The best brushing tips
  • Maintaining oral health

If you would like more information or to book an appointment, please contact us today.

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