INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
We are often asked when is the best time to start bringing children to visit the dentist. At DentalHouse, we like to see children from a young age in the practice.
We don’t need to examine their mouth until they are about two and a half years old unless they have a problem at an earlier date.
It is good for them to visit before then to get used to the practice, to meet the team and maybe have a turn at sitting in the chair! We encourage you to bring your young children with you to your examination visits.
- We want to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Children suffer less from gum disease, but are at risk of more aggressive decay.
- Gum problems are usually limited to gingivitis at the edge of the gum due to poor, oral hygiene.
The best way of preventing decay in children and adults is through control of sugar in their diet. Basically if there is no sugar in the diet then there is no decay.
SUGAR CAUSES TOOTH DECAY!!
The decay process begins when plaque is provided with sugar, producing acid which attacks tooth enamel.
- Our advice is never to give your children sweet snacks or sweets between meals.
- Keep sweets as a treat! Let them have as much as they want, no more than once a week, but that’s it –until the next week.
- They soon learn the routine and their regular appetites will improve.
It’s important to understand what we are actually trying to do when we brush our teeth.
The aim is to clean the teeth and gums – it is especially important to clean at the edge of the gum and between the teeth.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste – this strengthens tooth enamel so it’s more resistant to attack.
- Start from an early age – begin gum rubbing when they are babies.
- Get into a regular habit of brushing twice a day – night and morning.
- With a young child, rest their head backwards in the crook of your arm – this steadies their head and allows a more controlled job to be done.
- Use a small headed toothbrush or an electric toothbrush and work your way gently but firmly around the outside and inside of their top and bottom teeth.
- Ask them to spit out, but DON’T RINSE! We want the funky chemistry of the toothpaste to stay on the teeth and do its job!
Water fluoridation is a very effective and safe health measure. All our drinking water naturally contains some fluoride (some higher than ideal), but not every area has an adjusted level of fluoride in the water supply.
VISITING THE DENTIST
After their first examination at about two and half years old, we like to see children at least every six months. It is really important we see children this often because they are in a continuous process of development and we need to assess them regularly. They are more prone to decay and early treatment is easier and more successful.
From about six years old, we closely monitor their orthodontic development.
As your child turns into a teenager, we may suggest a visit to the hygienist for some lessons in oral health – as well as a clean and polish of course!
Our job with your children is about prevention and early diagnosis – that means less treatment and more cheeky grins!