At Redlands Gentle Dental, we are firm believers in oral health care throughout your life, from your very first baby tooth. Teaching your children about the importance of oral health and good hygiene habits from the start has the possibility to spark a change in the health of the next generation’s smiles. It all starts with you; the parents!
The following is some handy information regarding your child’s oral health, to ensure that they can continue to smile bright, for life!
Stages of your child’s dental care
Although technically there aren’t any teeth in the mouth yet, the health of the gums shouldn’t be ignored. Cleaning your child’s gums is as easy as using a damp cloth to gently wipe them down. This can help to remove any debris or plaque and to get your child used to oral hygiene habits from the very earliest stages of life.
Visits from the tooth fairy (losing baby teeth):
The tooth fairy pays the highest price for healthy, strong baby teeth, so encourage your child to take care of them. Although they will lose the ‘milk’ teeth, the health of your child’s teeth is still important. Neglecting baby teeth can impact the health of the rest of the mouth and the gums in particular. Encouraging the maintenance of baby teeth also establishes strong oral health habits that your child will carry with them into adulthood.
If your child has sections of the mouth where a tooth has fallen out (and the gum is sore or exposed) it is important that they take extra care when brushing, so as to minimise irritation and bleeding. Regular, six-monthly dental check-up and cleans are equally as important for children and for adults.
When your child reaches this stage, it is the real deal. It is important that your child understands that there are no second chances when it comes to adult teeth, as more teeth are not waiting to erupt beneath them. If there were any areas where your child struggled with their oral health when they had their milk teeth (for example, they only flossed every other day), now is the time to ensure that these habits are strengthened.
Not all children will need orthodontic treatment, depending on how their jaw and teeth have developed. Your usual dentist may refer you to an orthodontist if problems appear, or you may wish to visit an orthodontist for an early orthodontic consultation. Many orthodontists recommend that your child is brought in to have an assessment of their oral development at around the age of seven. Sometimes, early orthodontic measures (such as plates or expanders) can lessen the need for future orthodontic treatment or prevent it altogether.
Helping your child to establish a fantastic oral health routine is as easy as 1,2,3
- Brush together: Your children value any extra time that they get to spend with you. Set a great example by bringing the family together to brush at the same time. This way, your child will brush for long enough and learn the correct method by watching you. It will keep you accountable for your own oral health too!
- Make it fun: Brushing doesn’t have to be boring! Purchase a toothbrush for your child that has an exciting picture on it, or a special child-branded toothpaste. Playing a 2-3-minute song while everyone hums along is also a great way to make sure that the required ‘brush time’ is met and the activity is kept exciting, even if it does stay stuck in your head!
- Visit the dentist: At Redlands Gentle Dental, we offer special children’s dentistry to ensure that their oral health care gets off on the right foot. We speak to your child in a way that they can understand and encourage good habits. Bringing your child in to see a dentist from an early age can also prevent dental anxiety as an adult. We are firm believers that prevention is better than the cure, and educating your child on the importance of looking after their teeth might just spark a lifetime of great oral health!
To find out more about children’s dentistry, and how we can help you and your child to have the best oral health possible, contact our friendly team today!