Tooth Tips for Kids
- NO sugary snacks or drinks between meals
- Choose healthy snacks
- Milk and water are recommended drinks
- Avoid all juice drinks and fizzy drinks, (especially between meals)
- Brush teeth twice daily with pea sized amount of fluoride tooth paste (children under the age of 7 years will need help)
- Take your children for regular six monthly check ups.
- Healthy baby teeth will guide healthy permanent teeth into the correct position.
Prevention of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
- Never ever allow your baby to take a bottle containing milk, formula, fruit juice or any sugary liquid to bed
- Never dip a soother in anything sweet
- Clean babys teeth from time of eruption
- Regular dental check-ups
Children’s Oral Health
- Schedule regular oral health appointments, starting from 2 – 3 years of age
- Discuss with the Dentist/Hygienist fissure sealants which protect the chewing surfaces of teeth from dental decay
- As soon as teeth erupt, brush gently with small, soft toothbrush
- NO toothpaste until 2 years old unless recommended by dentist/hygienist
- At 2-3 years begin to teach child correct brushing.
- Supervision when brushing is needed until 7-8 years old
Why should I bring my children to the dentist?
Firstly it is important to establish good dental health practices from an early age. If your children are in the habit of making routine trips for check-ups then they will have little to fear. Your dentist can advise you with regard to diet for the prevention of tooth decay, oral hygiene instruction, check for tooth decay which if detected early can be easily treated and check for the normal development of the permanent teeth. Your dentist can also advise you regarding preventive treatments such as fluoride treatments and fissure sealants.
How should I prepare my child for his first dental visit?
It is important that your child’s first dental visit is a positive experience and parents are encouraged to speak positively to their child about their forthcoming visit.
As children are at their best early in the day a morning appointment would be preferable. Then once you and your child arrive you are both welcomed into the surgery. The parent is encourage to observe as their child engages with the dentist whereby a “tell-show-do” technique is employed i.e. we will explain to your child in language that he or she understands e.g. “we are going to count your teeth” followed by showing your child how this will be done e.g. we will give your child a small dental examination mirror to check out following by actually carrying out the procedure i.e. examining your child’s teeth.
This procedure will take more or less time, depending on your child. It is important not to rush your child so as to create a positive experience.
X rays (or” pictures” in your child’s language) may then be taken at this stage dependant on your child’s needs, their level of cooperation and of course in consultation with you the child’s parent, as up to 75% of tooth decay between the primary (baby) teeth can go undetected without x rays. We will usually then clean and polish (“tickle”) your child’s teeth which is generally very well received by your child and familiarises him with the concept of dentistry.
Lastly children are presented with a small reward for their good behaviour whilst you will have a full discussion of your child’s needs.
Why treat baby teeth, don’t they fall out anyhow?
It is quite correct that the baby or primary teeth fall out or exfoliate. However most parents would prefer not to have their child experience toothache and have to attend for emergency treatment. Secondly if the baby teeth are lost too soon it leads to space loss whereby teeth drift into the space caused by removing a tooth, a space which will be required by the replacement permanent teeth. This in turn leads to crowding in the permanent teeth. So the baby teeth in effect hold the spaces for the permanent teeth.
What is a fissure sealant?
This is a resin or “paint” which is applied to the fissures or grooves on the biting surfaces of the back teeth thereby sealing them and making these surfaces more resistant to tooth decay. The first permanent molar teeth erupt into the mouth at approximately age 6 and the second permanent molars erupt at approximately age 12. It is strongly advised that these teeth be sealed as soon as they erupt. It may also be advisable to seal some of the primary (baby) molars where the fissures or grooves are deep as these teeth may be at increased risk of tooth decay.
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