Keeping the Dental Experience Positive for Children & Infants
If you believe your child is in a caring environment then the rest of the “scary” stuff can be looked after quite easily. With positive and encouraging comments from both the parents and dentist a good relationship is started.
In order to build a good relationship we encourage the child’s first visit in their first year. At this time, we can discuss good oral hygiene practices, teething, fluoride requirements, oral habits, pacifier use, good nutrition and scheduling future visits to build a child’s confidence and comfort. Depending on a child’s dentition and oral health, radiographs can be taken before the age of five.
Preparing for the First Visit
Preparing for the first visit or scheduled appointment starts with a relaxed parent. Parents can describe the visit in general terms but limit answering details to the dentist. Try not to use words like “hurt,” “shot,” or “pain.” Don’t set an example of a personal unpleasant experience, don’t make promises of rewards for going to the dentist, but do reward good behaviour and do emphasize the importance of good oral health.
Dental Care for Children
Fluoride is important and has been proven to be safe and effective in preventing cavities when used as indicated. As the twenty baby teeth fully erupt between the ages of 6 months to three years of age, they should be brushed. Start with a kernel of rice sized fluoridated toothpaste when the child is able to spit out the toothpaste. Floss the child’s teeth when the teeth start to touch one another. Include nutritious foods while limiting high sugar and processed carbohydrates like pastries. As the child approaches six, sealants can be placed on the arrival of the first adult tooth.
Parents should continue to help brush their child’s teeth between ages 6 to 8 as their manual dexterity improves. Sometimes giving the child disclosing tablets or solution to show how much plaque has accumulated affirms good hygiene practices. Permanent teeth begin to erupt around the age of six and good eating and hygiene habits are vital as these teeth remain the most heavily restored in society and needn’t be if looked after.
Keeping baby teeth is important in order to allow for the healthy eruption of the permanent dentition. If early removal or missing baby teeth occurs, then crowding of the adult teeth can happen. Assessing the healthy eruption of 32 adult teeth will be monitored as the child enters adolescence.