The first trip to the dentist can happen as soon as that first tooth appears and it’s a milestone that you’ll never forget. Your child’s first dentist visit (when they’re around six months old) should really just be to make sure everything’s growing and developing the way it should. And because children are treated free, you won’t need to worry about the cost either. As they get a little older you might like to take them with you when you visit the dentist for your own check-ups. That way your child will get accustomed to being at the dentist and will be far more familiar with the sights and smells of this weird and wonderful place!
If your child has a toothache, please make an appointment with your dentist.
yoghurt, soya beans, tofu andnuts. These are all rich in calcium, which is good for teeth and bones.
But children love sugar and fizzy drinks, the trouble is, some of the bacteria that live on our teeth love it too and turn the sugar into acid, which attacks the enamel. If your child keeps eating sugary foods (or drinking sugary drinks) then their teeth end up being exposed to acid for a lot longer. And that’s when they can start to decay. So protecting your child’s teeth isn’t just about how much sugar they have, it’s also about how often they have it.
If you can, try and encourage them to limit sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes – and stick to fruit, vegetables, cheese, milk and water in between meals.
Flossing helps prevent plaque and to remove food debris trapped in between teeth. Your child can start flossing when two teeth touch each other. As your child gets older, you can teach them to floss on their own.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and cavities; you can help prevent tooth decay by
• Brushing twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste
• Visiting a dentist regularly
• Reaching all teeth while brushing
• Maintaining a healthy diet and limiting the amount and frequency of sugary foods and drinks.
The amazing thing about knocked out teeth is that they can often be put right back in again. Just hold the tooth but not by the root, clean off any dirt and gently push it back into the socket. Then get your child to bite on a handkerchief to hold it in place. If this doesn’t work try putting the tooth in a cup of milk or keep the tooth in your child’s mouth between the cheek and the gum. It can still be fixed back in later as long as you don’t let it get dry.
Book an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible, to ensure that your child can get expert care for long-term happy and healthy development.
Teeth grinding or bruxism on a regular basis can cause damage to the teeth. You can consult your dentist about a mouth guard for your child.
Fruit juice and fizzy drinks (even diet ones) are often acidic. If your child drinks a lot of them, the acid can lead to erosion of the enamel in their teeth.
This is different from tooth decay because rather than it being focused at a specific point, acid erosion attacks the whole surface of the tooth at once by making the entire protective surface thinner.
This can make the teeth sensitive, and can also make them more vulnerable to decay. But there are some simple ways it can be avoided:
• Always dilute fruit juice with water – 1 part juice to 10 parts water. Restrict fizzy drinks and fruit juices to mealtimes. Between meals, give them milk or water.
• Encourage them to use a straw directed to the back of the mouth if you give them fizzy drinks or fruit juice, as this will mean the acid will have less contact with the teeth.
• Don’t let your child swish drinks around in their mouth.
• Don’t let them brush their teeth just after they’ve had an acidic drink – wait as long as possible. Immediately after brushing, the teeth are even more vulnerable to tooth wear.
• After they’ve brushed their teeth at night, make sure they only have water to drink before going to bed.
The flat chewing surfaces of the teeth at the back of our mouth aren’t actually all that flat. They’re full of little dents called ‘fissures’. This makes it easier for decay to set in. If your dentist feels your child needs extra protection from tooth decay, he may recommend sealing them up. This will usually only occur around the age of 6 or 7. This is a simple and painless process, which can be performed on their big teeth. A layer of plastic coating is applied which then hardens into a protective layer. The effect is that the teeth are very well protected from decay.