Top tips for kids!

Working as a dental hygienist in the practice I’m frequently asked questions by patients who are eager to establish a healthy dental routine for their children here are the top three!

When should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

It is recommended that by the time the first tooth appears (6 months) your child should have visited the dentist or at the latest by their first birthday. There are several reasons for this but mainly to establish a healthy routine and a good relationship with the dentist, no one wants their child’s first experience of the dentist to be a traumatic one where a toothache or a trauma to the mouth has occurred.

How do I clean my child’s teeth?

Firstly you need a tooth brush with a head that is size appropriate for the child’s mouth. Use of a fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen teeth and prevent decay, again use an age appropriate one. It is now recommended that parents brush their child’s teeth until the age of 7 as the child does not possess the manual dexterity required to appropriately clean their own teeth.

For smaller children, sit the child facing forward on your knee, tilt their head back into your chest and gently brush teeth and gums taking care to include the back teeth. Try and include this twice daily into the routine establishing this routine early will be hugely beneficial in later life.

What are the best snacks for little ones?

Research shows that sugar is one of the most damaging ingredients in foods today, it leads to dental decay and several other health related illnesses. There are obvious sugars in sweets, chocolate, biscuits etc which we know to avoid but we need to be aware of hidden sugars  in yogurts, fruit juices, dried foods (raisins). So what can we give our kids to snack on…breadsticks, fresh fruit, vegetables, popcorn, cheese and the safest drink for teeth – water!