We advise that you bring your children to the dentist with you as soon as they start getting teeth. We want them to become familiar and relaxed in the dental environment and to see that there is nothing to worry about. We would never try to force your child to do something they are not comfortable with.

You should help your child brush their teeth until they are at least seven years old and monitor their brushing as they get older. Disclosing tablets are useful to see any areas that they might be missing when cleaning as they stain the plaque.

To prevent tooth decay, follow some simple rules:

• Do not allow your children to snack on sugary foods and drinks throughout the day - limit them to meal times. Be aware that fruits can be acidic as well.

• Do not sweeten bottles or dummies - if you do, this will cause a constant attack of sugar on the teeth which will lead to decay.

• Avoid sugar at bedtime - saliva dries up overnight and the attack on the teeth from sugar lasts longer.

• Do not bribe your children with sweet food or drink.

• Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste that is suitable for your child's age group.

• Keep a layer of fluoride over the teeth by not rinsing after brushing.