Many patients find tooth pain debilitating, but it can be even more traumatic for little children. It is reported that more than 100 children in the UK have to undergo tooth extractions for decayed teeth in hospital every single day. Mostly these situations can be avoided with parents playing a key role in keeping their child’s teeth strong and healthy by introducing them to positive dental habits from an early age and ensuring they visit the dentist. The NHS advises that a child’s first dental appointment should ideally be around the time their milk teeth begin to make an appearance.
How to keep children’s teeth decay-free
Cultivate a positive attitude around dental health
Children emulate the behaviours and attitudes of the adults around them. It is a good idea for children to see their parents taking care of their dental health by brushing their teeth, flossing and visiting a dental clinic (parents may also want to visit a dental clinic with their children to get them used to the environment). Parents may also want to sit down with their children and talk to them or read books to them about the importance of taking care of their teeth. If there are older siblings in the house, they too, can help the little ones practise good dental habits. Inculcating a positive attitude about dental health in children from a young age will help them carry this attitude into adulthood and enjoy strong healthy teeth for life.
Brush milk teeth as soon as they appear
Dental practitioners advise parents to start brushing their child’s teeth from the moment they first notice them. This can be done by using a soft-bristled toothbrush especially developed for young children – a dental practitioner can recommend a suitable product that can be used.
Supervise toothbrushing time
With their busy schedules, it can be tempting to leave children (once they have gained a little independence) to take care of brushing their teeth on their own, but it would be more prudent for parents to avoid doing so.
Find a child-friendly dental clinic
Choosing a dental clinic with staff who are compassionate, patient and experienced in dealing with children can be immensely helpful in helping children adopt a positive attitude towards their dental health.
Help avoid dental phobias later in life
Many oral health problems experienced by adults arise because they avoid dental care due to their phobia about visiting the dentist. To help avoid this issue, it is important for children to develop a level of awareness and trust that is built on the foundations of a child’s first visit to the dental clinic.
Parents with children under the age of three can concentrate on just the brushing of teeth, and once they turn three years old, they can begin to learn to floss.
The dentist is the preferred health practitioner to conduct dental check-ups on children, as they have the required skills and experience to identify potential teeth developmental problems. Find quality dental care for children and the whole family at a good dental clinic near you.