There’s a lot in the press at the moment about the rising numbers of children being admitted to hospital for tooth decay. It is true that the most likely reason for a child in the UK to be admitted to hospital before the age of 10 is for rotten teeth. In this blog let’s discuss dentistry for children and what can be done at home to prevent children having to be admitted to hospital.
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her first birthday. The general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean their child’s teeth and identify his or her fluoride needs. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. Bringing your child to the dentist early often leads to a lifetime of good oral care habits and acclimates your child to the dental office, thereby reducing anxiety and fear, which will make for plenty of stress-free visits in the future.
Parents typically provide oral hygiene care until the child is old enough to take personal responsibility for the daily dental health routine of brushing and flossing. Studies show that it isn’t until the age of 8 that a child has the wrist strength and coordination to clean their own teeth properly, therefore supervision is key. A proper regimen of preventive home care is important from the day your child is born.
Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.
As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush andwater. If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.
To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of dummies, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a comforter at naptime or bedtime.
Help a young child brush at night, the most important time to brush, due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene.
Always follow the advice given to you by your dentist.
Phone Tonbridge Dental Centre on 01732 361934 and book your child in at the same time as your appointment. The check up is free when booked this way and our dentists will give you all the help and advice you need to keep your family’s mouths healthy and cavity free.