February 2021 has been National Children’s Dental Health Month, and so the team at Lister House Dental Centre are excited to share the best tricks and tips to keeping your child’s teeth and gums in top shape!
Looking after your baby’s teeth
If you’re a first time parent or guardian, it can be confusing to know when you should start brushing your baby’s teeth. We advise using a baby toothbrush with a very small smear of fluoride toothpaste as soon as their teeth start coming through. It may be challenging to reach your baby’s teeth properly in the first instance – after all, this is a new experience for them – but don’t worry! The most important thing is that your baby gets used to brushing their teeth as part of a routine.
The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry advises all parents and guardians to bring their young children to see the dentist as soon as their first teeth appear or before their first birthday. Regular visits to the dentist will ensure that your child feels more confident in the dentist’s chair when they’re older.
Terrible Twos and Toddler Teeth
We all know that it can be hard to get your toddler to brush their teeth. As a parent, you want what is best for your child, though trying to get them into a routine of oral hygiene can be an especially harrowing challenge. However, there are some things you can do to get your child in the mood to clean their baby teeth!
We recommend starting a daily routine of brushing twice a day for two minutes under your supervision. Kick-start this habit by setting a good example! Make teeth brushing a family-fun affair and allow your child to ask any questions they may have whilst you show them how it’s done. Creating a sticker board to recognise their brushing achievements, or playing their favourite music for the two-minute duration, can make tooth brushing feel like a worthwhile pastime rather than a chore.
Prevention is better than cure
A major issue for children’s oral health is the appearance of cavities, which result from bacteria and food left on the surface of the teeth. This creates an acidic environment and softens the enamel, causing a hole or cavity. If left untreated, cavities can become painful, and in the worst-case scenario, the tooth may have to be removed. Prevent cavities in your child’s teeth by sticking to the 2×2 rule (brushing twice a day for two minutes) and limiting the amount of sugar that they consume. Bring your child in to see a dentist regularly so that an expert can monitor their oral health.