Why Good Dentistry Starts with Children’s Teeth
It’s more important than you may realise to take care of those cute little baby teeth. Yes, eventually they are going to fall out. But making sure they stay there for as long as they need to be is important for when big teeth come in. You also want children to have well-established oral hygiene practices.
These 3 top tips will help your child feel positive and encourage independent care for their teeth throughout their life.
1. Rule Number 1- make it fun!
A key factor to successful oral care is to make it a positive experience from the get-go. When children are really young, even before all their baby teeth have come through, let them explore toothbrushes and the routine of tooth brushing in a positive, power-struggle free environment.
Select an age-appropriate toothbrush. A rubber bristled brush is ideal for early toddler years and when children are still developing their baby teeth. Once you move onto a proper toothbrush, ensure that it’s a child-sized, soft bristle brush, and use a mild toothpaste containing fluoride. A toothbrushing song, a silly dance, a fun rinse and spit game and brushing your teeth alongside your child while brushing their teeth all help create positive associations.
For older kids, two-minute sand-timers, stopwatches or electric toothbrushes that play music for the designated time help to motivate children to brush their teeth thoroughly. Reward charts offer a visual representation of their efforts and a feel-good boost to help keep them motivated.
2. Schedule an appointment
BEFORE there is a need for any uncomfortable dental procedures, visit the dentist. A child’s first visit should be a fun and exciting experience, so talk it up and turn it into an event! Your dentist in Parramatta should also understand the importance of a child’s first dentist visit and help make it special.
Talk about what to expect when visiting the Parramatta dentist. “The chair will go up and down, and lie all the way back.” “You wear a funny bib and there’s a really funny suction that slurps up all your spit!” “The dentist has a tiny little mirror and wears a mask.” The more details the child has in advance, the less likely they are to feel alarmed while in the dental chair. Read picture books or find episodes of their favourite shows on the topic. There are many wonderful resources out there to help kids familiarise themselves with the experience of a visit to the dentist.
Many issues relating to speech development, tongue ties, orthodontic issues, gum and periodontal disease, and even thumb-sucking, shark teeth and cavities can be picked up at a young age and strategies put in place for early intervention.
3. Teach healthy habits
Aside from brushing and regular checkups, a healthy lifestyle is vital for great oral and general health.
Parramatta dentists recommend that children stay away from fizzy drinks and sugary foods (especially sucking candies like lollipops), rinse with water after meals, floss daily and wear a mouthguard while playing sports.
These three tips will help set children up for a lifetime of great oral health and feel good about independently taking care of their teeth. For more information or to book a relaxed and fun, stress-free appointment for your child, contact Dental Avenue Parramatta today. You can also read here more about our Children’s Dentistry.