As Children’s Week approaches (from 21–29 October), United Smiles wants all Australians to know that it is never too early to start a good oral hygiene routine.
It is important to start caring for your child’s teeth from the moment they appear, as good dental health habits in childhood mean a great chance healthy teeth for life, while also avoiding dental disease.
Children’s Week focuses the attention of the wider community on children, their needs and achievements. In support of this, United Smiles offers some hints on how to look after your children’s teeth from an early age.
What Can You Do for your Child?
Visit your dentist early
When should your child first visit the dentist? It’s probably earlier than you think.
Many Australian children don’t see their family dentist until they are well over 2 years old, far later than is recommended by dental and medical professionals.
You should visit your dentist no later than the first birthday, or as soon as any sign of a tooth breaking through the gums.
Teach Oral Hygiene at Home
There is a long list of things that parents routinely do to protect their children’s health including vaccinations, healthy diet, exercise, and plenty of sleep
Most of us also recognize the large role that oral hygiene plays in health and appearance. But, how do you know if you’re teaching your children all that they should know?
Well, wonder no more! Here are the most important points to impart to your children regarding the care of their teeth and gums, straight from the dentist’s mouth!
Your child should be brushing twice a day. You should begin brushing a child’s teeth as soon as they break through the gum’s surface. In fact, dentists often recommend rinsing the gums of infants with damp gauze or soft cloth even before teeth break through.
But once brushing begins, you’ll want to ensure you use the proper toothpaste, as children should use fluoride-free varieties until they’re old enough to spit toothpaste out without help. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your child uses an appropriately sized, soft-bristled toothbrush and brushes in gentle, circular motions to avoid damage to the tooth’s enamel.
If your child finds brushing difficult, have them brush to music, have “brushing parties”, or have them brush along to a favourite video. The most important thing is to ensure that they learn to brush for two minutes each time!
It’s difficult to get adults to floss regularly, not to mention children. Nonetheless, it’s an important habit that they need to learn early on to protect their gums and to remove plaque that a toothbrush cannot remove. Dentists recommend flossing begins as soon as any two teeth touch each other, although a child will not be able to floss alone for many years.
Thumb sucking, often begun during the infant or toddler years, can be an incredibly difficult habit to break. If a child reaches three and is still sucking their thumb or regularly taking a pacifier it’s important to try to deter them. Thumb sucking, or chewing on other items, can cause tooth misalignment and allow harmful bacteria may to enter the mouth.
Too often, visits to the dentist are delayed until a problem arises. In actuality, children should see a dentist by their first birthday and then see them as often as the dentist recommends. Otherwise, problems that may have been easily detected and addressed may slip by unnoticed, becoming far more worrisome when they finally are discovered.
The United Smiles Commitment to Children
Whether it’s your infant’s first visit or your teenager’s last, United Smiles will provide them with individualized care, education, and treatment. Our team is committed to making your child’s experience at our dental office a positive one – no matter how old they are. Our goal is to help young patients develop confidence in treatment, and to instill in them healthy dental habits that last a lifetime.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), which protects some 3 million Australian Children, has been extended for 2017. And here at United Smiles, we are happy to support you and your children, by offering services under the CDBS! This program offers $1,000 over two years to qualifying children (ages 2-17, Eligible for Medicare, or receiving a qualifying government payment). You can read more about this, here.
Your Trusted Family Dentist in Mernda
If you have a child in need of treatment, or any other dental issues, do not hesitate to call us at United Smiles (03) 8682 8658.
Visit us today and take advantage of CDBS (Child Dental Benefits Schedule) and receive up to $1,000 worth of basic dental treatments over 2 calendar years.
United Smiles is open from Monday to Friday to cater all your dental needs.