We all love to see our children smiling big, beautiful, beaming smiles, but figures from the NHS Information Centre show that over the last few years, the number of parents seeking dental care for children has declined. So, how do we look after those beautiful smiles and why is it important to encourage your child to visit the dentist regularly?
First teeth are important for speech, eating, facial appearance, and for establishing space in the mouth for adult teeth. If we don’t teach our children to look after their mouths properly, they could experience discomfort, pain and infection. And let’s be honest, those first teeth cause enough discomfort arriving - it’s worth looking after them and preventing any more.
Why is it important to brush?
We should all brush our teeth for two minutes, twice per day and it’s important to encourage children to get into this habit as early as possible. By brushing correctly, the sticky transparent film of bacteria which forms on the teeth and gums is removed, meaning the chance for plaque to form and cause gum problems is reduced.
By using toothpaste when your child brushes their teeth, fluoride is introduced into the mouth, which helps to control tooth decay. Whilst spitting out the frothy toothpaste is a good idea, rinsing isn’t necessary.
Whilst brushing your teeth is really important, tooth decay in children can be prevented by also making sure you try and do the following:
- Keep sugar to mealtimes only and avoid sugary drinks. If your child has a snack before bed this should be limited to non-sugary foods – good ones to choose are cheese, bread, water or milk.
- If your child is unwell try to use sugar-free medicines.
- Continued bottle feeding, especially through the night, can contribute to tooth decay so try and switch to using a trainer cup instead of a bottle and use water in the trainer cup.
- Once those first teeth have appeared, your child should visit the dentist regularly and you should try and encourage regular brushing.
Make children’s dental care a positive experience:
It’s important your child has a positive experience when they visit the dentist as this will encourage them to continue with regular dental care, so try and leave any phobia you might have about visiting the dentist at home - speak to your dentist about any phobias you do have as there are lots of ways we can help you to manage this.
Flossy and the Kids Club at Beeston Dental Practice:
Now the school summer holidays are upon us, there is no better time to focus on your child’s dental care routine and encourage them to come and visit us.
‘Flossy’, a captivating little creature who is helping children to learn more about dental care, has taken up residence at Beeston Dental Practice. Flossy is a great way of generating better dental awareness amongst children whilst building their enthusiasm for looking after their teeth. By bringing your children along to our next Kids Club Session they will get the chance to meet the fantastic members of our dental team, be introduced to the equipment we use, learn the importance of visiting the dentist, brushing their teeth and having a healthy diet. They’ll also receive a bag filled with goodies to encourage them to look after their teeth at home. Most of all they will have fun! And it’s free!
We hold regular sessions, so keep an eye on our Kids Club page for the next date.
We also have regular nursery visits. If you would like your nursery to get involved, or you think your child's nursery should be participating in encouraging your children to look after their teeth, please contact the practice to arrange a visit.