When a baby is born, we wait ages to see that gummy little smile that will melt the hearts of all who see it. Then comes the teething stage and we feel for the baby and parents as it can often be a sleepless time and painful for the little one. However, once that is done and over what do you do next? When does your child need to start visiting the dentist? Is there anything else you should know or being doing to ensure your child’s dental health is where it should be?
We’ve put together a list of everything you need to know about Children’s Dental Health and what you can do to ensure your child’s smile is always bright and on hand.
- Using A Dummy – Whilst many parents worry that the use of a dummy or thumb/finger sucking will damage a child’s teeth it actually won’t. What it can do is create an overbite which is when teeth separate to make space for a dummy or thumb. As a dummy can also affect speech development, it is advised that you stop your child’s dummy before 12 months.
- When to Start Brushing – You should actually begin brushing from the moment the first tooth pops up! Brushing once before bed and once at another point during the day.
- What to Use – “special children’s toothpaste” is useful because it is age related and the correct amount of fluoride which is age appropriate has been controlled. As long as it is the correct amount of fluoride in the toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay, then that is all that matters. Up to the age of 3 it’s best to have a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm. From about the age of 7, children can use the family shared toothpaste, again as long as it has enough fluoride, between 1350ppm-1500ppm– if you’re not sure then check the packet or ask your friendly Black Swan Dentist.
- How Much Toothpaste – Most children will love the taste of toothpaste, but we don’t want them to have too much. Children aged 0-3 should only be happy a small smear. Children aged 3-6 should have a pea-sized blob. Make sure you also try and get them to spit out any excess toothpaste too rather than swallowing it.
- Rinsing – Whilst a lot of people, children included do a lot of rinsing with water after brushing their teeth, it is important that they don’t do this too much as rinsing with water after brushing their teeth will rinse away a lot of the fluoride and make it less effective!
- Teaching Your Child to Brush – It is important children learn how to brush their teeth properly. Let them do it in front of a mirror and guide their hand to begin with so that they can get the right action.
- Making Brushing Fun – There are so many great apps out there that encourage children to brush. Why not get a funky/fun egg timer and set it for two minutes so they know that when the timer dings they are all done – a great way to ensure that they brush for two whole minutes!
- Stay away from the fizzy drinks – Fizzy drinks are acidic and can wear away the enamel coating of teeth. Whilst drinking low sugar or diet versions does reduce the sugar content, they are still very acidic and can cause erosion.
- Visiting the Dentist – You should take your child to the dentist as soon as their milk teeth have appeared – even having a quick visit and letting the dentist have a quick look is great for future practice.
- Preventing Fear – If a parent has a lasting fear of the dentist, it’s important they try not to pass this onto their children. So, try to make each visit a positive experience – be bright, be happy and don’t forget to remind them they’ll usually get a well-done sticker too!
There you have it folks – our top tips and guide to children’s dental health. If you’re ever unsure of anything, the best thing to do is just ask us and we’ll be more than happy to help with any questions.
Don’t forget that dental examinations for under 6’s are free here at Black Swan Dental Spa and we’ll make sure that they have a great time whilst they are here!
If you’d like to speak to our friendly team, give us a call on 01460 77517 or feel free to pop in when you’re passing.