February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.
At Woodborough House we believe in providing your child with a ‘dental home’ that they will feel confident and comfortable in throughout their life. Many adults are dental phobics because of the experience and memory of a traumatic dental visit as a child. At Woodborough House we are passionate about creating positive and happy associations with the dentist as a child to ensure confident adult patients of the future.
Preventing Dental Health Issues in Children
Regular visits to the dentist are essential for ensuring that any problems with your child’s teeth are picked up and treated. We recommend regular dental visits from 2.5 years old.
Teeth first start erupting at 6 months of age and all 20 baby teeth are normally in place at 2.5 years old. As your child grows and develops, they will lose their baby teeth and adult teeth replace them. This begins to happen from 5-6 years old. As the jaw grows the teeth will shift into new positions. There may be problems associated with the positioning of your child’s teeth. It is important to have a dentist monitor this so that corrective treatment can be planned.
Making Your Child’s Visit a Positive Experience
Having an empathetic and encouraging dentist will help your child overcome any fear or uncertainty about going to the dentist. Great dentists will be experienced, not only clinically, but they will be natural at knowing what to say and to make your child feel at ease.
Rupert Monkhouse is one of our general dentists who sees many young patients. Rupert makes visits to his surgery lots of fun by making animal glove balloons:
“I blow up a glove and I either turn it into a chicken or an elephant! I draw a face on it and it becomes a fun thing for the child to take away. Peppa Pig is still very popular with young children, and Peppa Pig’s dentist is actually an elephant. So after I make the elephant balloon, it becomes Peppa Pig’s dentist that checks the child’s teeth which usually works very well in making the child relaxed. Kids love the glove balloons and come running out of the surgery with their chicken or elephant.”
Tips for Maintaining Your Child’s Oral Health at Home
Parents are a child’s biggest influence, so demonstrating a regular oral care routine yourself will encourage the same in your child. A simple routine of brushing daily, twice a day for two minutes will embed a strong foundation in oral health.
Rupert recommends a great app called ‘Brush DJ’ to help parents encourage their children to brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. According to Rupert “The app has a selection of two minute long songs, it encourages children to brush their teeth for the entirety of the song. It’s a game changer!”
We recommend the following oral health tips to get your children started on their journey to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
- Begin brushing your baby’s teeth when you see the first tooth coming through with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. The toothpaste should not contain more than 1000ppm of fluoride.
- Brush twice each day for two minutes. Children ages 2-6 years should use a pea-sized amount of 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste.
- Once your child’s adult teeth erupt, start using a pea sized amount of adult 1350-1500ppm fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing becomes important once your child nears puberty
- Avoid giving large quantities of fruit juice, fruit snacks, and sticky sweets, biscuits or cakes to your child.
- Stick to good old-fashioned water rather than drinks containing sugar, or dilute juice with water.
- Replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months and consider an electric brush as they get older
- Plaque dissolving tablets are a great method to highlight areas that need more brushing to be fully clean and ensure no areas are missed.
- Visit your dentist every six months and schedule routine check-ups so they don’t get missed.
If you would like any further advice from our dental team we would be happy to help you and your child.
We look forward to seeing you
You’ve Waited Long Enough
Get in touch with us to learn about award-winning, specialist-led cosmetic, restorative and general services at Reading’s home of slow dentistry.Get in touch