We know that the dentist can be a scary prospect for many children, but if you follow a few top tips then the visit can be as stress free as possible.
It is recommended that you bring children with you to the dentist as soon as possible so they can get used to the dental environment. To begin with all the dentist will do is get them to sit in the dental chair, first with a parent or guardian and then on their own. This helps them to build confidence and reduces the fear associated with the dentist.
Baby teeth will start to emerge at 6 months and a child should have a full set of teeth by the time they are two and a half. Their permanent adult teeth will begin to come through at age 6 and should all be in place by thirteen.
Cleaning your child’s teeth
All children up to the age of three should have a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm Children older than three should have a toothpaste with a fluoride level between 1350ppm and 1500ppm.
Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth to ensure that they spit the toothpaste out where possible.
The toothbrush should be small headed, with soft nylon bristles and suitable for the age of your child. There are many available, including ones with loved children’s characters and pop stars, all of which can help to ensure that brushing their teeth is a fun activity.
Ideally you should aim to brush your child’s teeth in the morning and before they go to bed and make it part of your routine.
Preventing tooth decay
Where possible try to limit your child’s sugar intake to mealtimes to prevent the teeth getting too many sugar hits each day which increases the chance of tooth decay.
Drinks should be sugar free and where possible water, sugar free squash or milk are best in between meals. Many fruit juices are high in natural sugars so are best restricted to meal times.
If your child requires medication at all be sure to ask the doctor for sugar free medication as this can be another possible cause of decay.