Oral Health in Children
Children's Dental Health
If at least 1 in 4 adults dreads their visit to the dentist, imagine how scary it can be for children!
The clinical setting, the metal equipment, the smells and noises?
It is so important to introduce children to the dentist at a young age for many reasons.
Firstly, an element of trust with their own dentist and the team can be established. By building this relationship the fear attributed to being in a room full of strangers is reduced, leaving the child more comfortable and relaxed during treatments.
Secondly, good oral health habits with regards to brushing and flossing techniques can be instilled early. Habits such as these will be carried through their lifetime and prevent forms of tooth decay and mouth disease associated with poor oral hygiene.
There are a multitude of fun toothbrushes and flavoured toothpastes available to introduce to children, meaning brushing teeth can now be a fun activity!
It is recommended that parents take their child to the dentist for their first check-up no later than 2 years old or when the first tooth breaks through in the mouth. Regular check-ups should then be followed to ensure any problems with teeth growing in.
For children under 6, it is crucial to assist with the brushing and ensure they are reaching all the right areas of the mouth (no matter how much they want to brush all by themselves). As a child grows older, it is still important to watch over brushing and flossing habits well into the teenage years. If they have never had a filling, oral care can drop as they don’t see the consequence of doing so. Then they’ll have BIG problems.
To protect children’s teeth, your dentist may also want to apply some fluoride varnish and fissure sealant to further prevent decay. The varnish can be applied to both baby and adult teeth every 6 months.
Containing high levels of fluoride, the varnish works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
Fissure sealant can be used to cover the back teeth with a thin plastic coating which can last up to 10 years.
This again protects the teeth from decay by keeping food particles and bacteria out of the natural grooves of the tooth.
If braces are required, this can be a bit of a tough blow for a child but with new technology and almost invisible braces available now this isn’t as tough as it used to be.
Braces can now realign teeth quicker than before and leave the patient with a killer smile to show off in no time!
Top tips for brushing children’s teeth
- Brush twice a day (minimum)
Brush once in the morning and once at night before bedtime.
- Use a small and soft brush
The toothbrush should have a small brush head and gentle filaments.
- Apply only a little toothpaste
Use the size of the children’s little finger nail.
- Create a good habit
Brush the inside, outside and biting surface in the same order to make sure no side is forgotten.
- Remember the gum line
Place the filaments along the teeth and gum line in a 45º angle.
- Be gentle
Brush with a slight pressure using small movements.
Remember Toothbrushing should be fun!
At Smile Dental Care, we understand there must be so many questions about your child’s teeth and best practices.