Getting your child into their dental health? Here are some top oral health tips for kids!
You don’t have to wait until your child is in school to start your oral health plan, the earlier you start, the better when it comes to kids oral health.
So what should you as a parent be doing to ensure your children have the best start to life in terms of their dental health?
We’ve outlined a few tips to consider to help your children avoid tooth decay and get started on healthy teeth and gums before they run into any problems.
Use fluoride toothpaste from 18 months of age
It’s important to start using a small pea-size amount of toothpaste for your child to brush their teeth from 18 months of age. Focus on making the process fun for your child and ensure they always spit out the toothpaste and don’t swallow it. The process of brushing with your child twice a day will help them to establish great oral health, and the fluoride will also protect their teeth.
Ensure your child is brushing their teeth along the gum line
Brushing removes plaque, which causes tooth decay. Gently brushing along the gum line will ensure that your children’s teeth are well and truly protected from a young age. Focus on brushing twice a day and ensure you monitor your child’s brushing, or ideally you brush your child’s teeth up to at least eight years of age. Often, children lack the dexterity required to effectively brush their teeth (we have seen kids who think they’re brushing their teeth and the brush is not even making contact with the teeth!) so giving them a helping hand often goes a long way.
Avoid sweet drinks including fruit juice
While your children may love the taste of fruit juice and sweet drinks, water is the best drink for preventing tooth decay in the long run. Rather than fruit juice, encourage your children to eat fresh fruit and avoid any diet or sugary drinks which contain acids that damage teeth. The same goes for sugary foods; these should be a treat and not consumed on a regular basis. Having a drink of tap water after a sugary or high acid treat/drink helps to reduce the sugary and acidic residue on the teeth.
Try to encourage children to avoid sucking fingers, thumbs or dummies
Sucking on fingers and dummies can affect the position of teeth growing which can cause issues with the bite. Encouraging children to break the habit early is best for all-round oral health. If your child is over the age of two and is a heavy thumb sucker or dummy user it is a good idea to visit a dentist.
By two years of age children should start visiting a dentist for regular check-ups
Around two years of age is a great time to start taking your child to regular visits to the dentist to start their oral health program nice and early. It’s helpful to get children familiar with the dental clinic and going for a ride in the chair. Generally the first visit will be lots of fun. If you have a health care card your child may be eligible for treatment covered by the Medicare Child Benefits Scheme.
If you’re anxious about visiting the dentist try not to pass on these fears to your children
Often parents that are nervous about visiting a dentist can pass on their fears to their kids, and this may set them on a negative path in their oral health future. Focus on the benefits of visiting the dentist and reassure your child by creating a feeling of safety and emotional well-being.
Be careful of dangers for dental injuries around the home
If you haven’t already, focus on child proofing your home so that any dental injuries that could occur on furniture, low benches or anything around the home is prevented. A knocked out or blackened tooth or injury to your child’s teeth or mouth could have a significant impact in their future dental and emotional life and keeping your home safe and free from possible injuries helps in the process.
If you’d like to find out more about our kid friendly environment give us a call at Wellington Road Dental Care today and arrange your consultation.
To book phone 08 9275 2588 or visit us at 39 Wellington Road, Morley.