The most important lessons children learn are from their parents, its mimicking their behaviour that teaches them the right and wrong way to behave and act. Teaching correct teeth brushing is an important lesson to teach your child to get it right from the very beginning. If, like many parents, you’re always rushing out the door….shoes, hair, breakfast, bag, jacket, hat, it can be seemingly impossible to slow down and help your child brush their teeth. But it’s important and needs to be done.
From when baby’s first teeth come through, it’s important to be using a soft cloth to be cleaning them, making sure milk residue is not sticking to their teeth. From there a training toothbrush can be introduced to teach your baby to hold and use the toothbrush.
Until your child can properly brush their own teeth, parents should brush their teeth. The correct technique for brushing includes holding your brush at a 45° angle against your child’s teeth/gums and using vertical or circular strokes. Avoid teaching your child horizontal brushing strokes, as these can damage your teeth/gums and wear away enamel.
Your child should brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, however in the rush to get out the door for pre-school or school, this can sometimes be rushed. Try using a favourite song to brush to or there are a range of free iPhone apps which ensure children enjoy brushing their teeth for 2 to 3 minutes.
As your child gets older and more independent, just because they now can brush their teeth doesn’t mean they are. Checking technique and how long they are brushing for is still important and shows that you are still monitoring their brushing habits.
Proper dental care begins young and the habits that are formed can prevent dental complications and orthodontic treatments for older children. The team at Somerset Dental are here to help you teach your children proper dental hygiene. Contact us today and make an appointment with the team.
A child’s baby teeth will generally start falling out around the age of six, giving space for adult teeth to form and grow. However, just because these baby teeth will fall out doesn’t mean that we should treat them as temporary and not important to a child’s good dental health.
Tooth decay in baby teeth can cause pain, infection and may have serious impact of a child’s speech and jaw development. More worrying is that early tooth decay can lead to higher risk of new decay in adult teeth, setting up a bad start that may lead to years of dental treatment.
Teaching a child to brush and clean their teeth right is important, but just as important is what they are eating. The types of food and drink you give your child can affect development of tooth decay.
Just like adults, children, once weaned onto solids, should have a wide and varied diet, including foods from all the five food groups and time being put aside for regular meal times.
Settling babies to sleep with bottles of milk can lead to early childhood tooth decay, particularly if it happens often. The problem is that the milk contains natural sugars, which can build up around baby’s teeth at night. The germs on the teeth can turn the sugars into acids, which eat away at the enamel of the baby teeth.
Once your baby has finished their milk, remove the bottle so they do not continue to suck on the bottle all night. If you find your child still thirsty, a drink of water from a sippy cup is advised.
Toddlers and food can be a messy business. They are busy exploring everything, into everything, not too keen to sit and have a meal, instead content with grabbing and running, literally. It’s messy because when you do get them long enough to eat, they are desperate to prove independence and feed themselves.
Setting time aside for regular meal times is important to prevent a toddler simply grazing all day. The concern with grazing is that the longer food and drink stays in your child’s mouth, the more chance there is for acid to develop and cause damage to tooth enamel. This means that nibbling foods and sipping drinks over longer periods of time is more likely to cause tooth decay.
By having set meal times and a range of tooth friendly snacks already cut up, such as fruit and vegetables, you are setting up your child with the right approach to food and diet for life as well as good oral health.
Here is where is can get tricky. As you child grow’s and is gaining more and more independence, you are no longer the only source for their food and drink. They are likely spending with others, with friends at play-dates, childcare or pre-school and also have the independence to open a cupboard or the fridge.
It is generally accepted and well known that soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar and shouldn’t be given to young children. However less well known is that these drinks, along with fruit juices and cordials, often have high-acid levels, and can play a major role in the development of tooth erosion.
According to the Australian Dental Authority (ADA) Healthy Eating Fact Sheet, erosion is a silent epidemic. Soft drinks, high sugar fruit juices and cordials should be limited and encourage your child to drink fluoridated water as much as possible.
School Aged Children
Sending a child off to school for the first time can be daunting for both child and parent. Almost as much so for the parents as they are now part something much bigger than themselves as their children are encouraged to show independence.
Even if your child has been in pre-school or day care, generally there would have been someone making sure they ate their lunch and snacks at the right time. However now it’s up to your child if and when they want to eat their lunch. And they have more opportunities than ever to eat food outside of what you provide, swapping and trading lunches with friends and access to that glorious magical place, the canteen.
Sending your child to school with a healthy lunch box that they will eat and enjoy is a challenge every day.
According to the Australian Dental Association, typically foods that can contribute to dental decay include those high in sugar such as concentrated fruit snack bars, sweets, muesli bars and sugary beverages and juices. This is because the sugar feeds the destructive bacteria in children’s mouths, which in turn puts acid on your child’s teeth. Refined foods such as savoury, starchy crackers and chips can also have high carbohydrate (sugar) content.
A well-balanced diet is important for children to maintain healthy lifestyle and good oral health. Making sure you have on hand a wide variety of dentally healthy snacks and foods including nuts, vegetables, yogurt and fruit will help your children will make the right choices for their diet.
Our children should start visiting the dentist before they even have a full set of teeth! It seems a little odd considering they have little teeth; however our teeth are one of the first things we develop in the womb. Our teeth are there even before we see them.
The best time
The best time to bring children in for their first dental care appointment is by their first birthday and regular appointments should start from between two and four years. First dental care visits are about getting your children used to the dentist and the dental chair. We show them a toothbrush and show you and your children how they can start using it. A child’s first dental care visit is as much for the parents benefit as it is for the children.
It’s important to visit the dentist from such an early age because as soon as we have any teeth we are at risk of contracting tooth decay. Dental care is all about prevention and as they say prevention is better than cure. At Somerset Dental care we recommend you and your children have your teeth cleaned every six months. Combined with a dental x-ray every two years, check-ups ensure optimal dental health so that invasive and expensive treatments can be avoided.
Dentists are ‘scary’
Dentists have the age old stigma of being ‘scary’; this is because people have had a negative dental care experience. As a result, people avoid visiting the dentist due to their bad experiences. The longer we leave our dental care appointment, the more chance there is for a build-up of dental care issues, such as tooth filling, root canal, tooth extraction and more.
We want to prevent your children having such a negative experience from the get go. Going to the dentist every six months for teeth cleaning is said to prevent tooth decay tenfold. Many people who have had regular check-ups from an early age have still avoided having a tooth filling to this day. By going to the dentist regularly and from an early age, the dentist will be a very positive experience.
Baby teeth are important too
It is just as important for children to visit the dentist for baby teeth as adult teeth. Problems and tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to serious oral issues for adult teeth, which is why it is important to visit a dentist for dental care from an early age. Children with tooth decay in baby teeth will either require tooth extraction or tooth filling and this can be an unnerving experience. Just by having a regular teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment this can be very easily avoided.
At Somerset Dental care we offer the Child Dental Benefit Schedule, a government incentive that allows eligible children between the ages two and 17years access to basic dental services of up to $1000. If you are unsure whether your child may be eligible or unsure when is the best time to bring in your children for an appointment, call the Somerset Dental Team today on 4648 0909.
Having a good family dentist at your disposal can make a huge difference to your family’s oral care. If you are searching for a reliable, trustworthy dentist, these tips will put you on the right path for dental success!
1. Locally Based
Finding a family dentist that is local is ideal, since it means you won’t have travel long distances see them. This can make your dental checkups and cleans and your other appointments much more convenient. It also means that if you run into any dental emergencies, your dentist will be quick and easy to get to.
2. Friendly Attitude
A good family dentist will value your comfort and state of mind when providing treatment. Great patient service is part of the dental care process and a friendly, caring dentist will make each visit much more pleasant and enjoyable. This is especially important for kids, who may dread going to the dentist, or for others who feel nervous or anxious about each visit.
Your family dentist should also be highly knowledgeable about all areas of dentistry and they should provide you with preventative and other solutions that will benefit your oral health in future. In short, don’t choose a dentist who only offers ‘quick fixes.’
You should also feel comfortable approaching your family dentist about any oral problems and it’s important that you trust their opinion. A good dentist will also have a working knowledge of dental fees and health care plans, so that they can help you manage your dental expenses, too.
4. Experience With Kids
If your kids are young and dislike dentist visits, look for a local family dentist who has experience working with children. These dentists will have a thorough understanding of kids’ dentistry and they will also go to efforts to make nervous children feel more at ease.
Having fun while at the dentist is important for kids too and simple things like child-friendly waiting rooms or take-away treats or ‘show bags’ can make each appointment more entertaining.
5. Range of Treatments
It is also in your best interests to ensure that your family dentist has a range of treatments available. This means that you won’t have to go elsewhere if you need to get a certain procedure done.
Common services can include basic checkups, cleans, fillings and teeth whitening as well as more complex processes like wisdom teeth extraction, root canal treatments, crowns and bridges fittings, ceramic restorations and braces/plates.
6. Emergency Dentistry
You never know when you might need emergency dentistry! A local family dentist who can also perform emergency dentistry procedures can be invaluable. This allows you to keep all of your dental work in one location (along with your dental documents, history and x-rays) and means that you won’t have to explain your dental history to a different dentist during an emergency.
At Somerset Dental Care we value your comfort and wellbeing and we’re passionate about dentistry! To learn more about what we do or book an appointment, contact us via our website or email us at [email protected].
Looking after your teeth and gums is one of the most important tasks in maintaining your overall health. A Personal Dental Care Plan will ensure your teeth and gums stay strong and don’t lead to gum diseases or tooth loss in future.
From checkups and cleans to recognising the signs of unhealthy teeth, check out these great tips for your personal dental care plan from Somerset Dental:
1. Find a Good Dentist
Having a strong, friendly relationship with a local dentist is essential in caring for your teeth. They will be able to provide you with valuable advice on how strong your teeth/gums are and what treatments you might require to get your mouth health back on track.
2. Checkups and Cleans
You should visit the dentist once every 4-6 months to maintain dental health, even if it’s only for a checkup and clean. During checkups and cleans, your dentist will remove excess tartar and plaque from your teeth and also take x-rays to make sure your teeth aren’t decaying. Checkups and cleans will go a long way in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, so make sure you visit your dentist regularly throughout the year!
3. Brush & Rinse Daily
Brushing for two minutes twice a day – once in the morning and once at night – should be part of your daily dental routine. Make sure you use an effective toothbrush, as well as toothpaste that contains the right level of fluoride. Forgetting to brush regularly or ignoring the importance of fluoride can lead to harmful acids and bacterial plaque building up in your mouth, which can cause serious gum disease. Don’t forget to clean your tongue as well, since many germs and bacteria can dwell here too.
Any dentist will tell you that cleaning between your teeth is just as important as brushing. Flossing can remove tiny pieces of food and plaque from beneath your gumline and between your teeth, which your toothbrush won’t be able to reach. Ensure that you floss daily during your brushing routine. Using a mouthwash or rinse at the end of your clean is beneficial too.
5. Limit Acidic Foods
Acidic, sugary or starch-based food and drink can speed up the tooth decay process. While you don’t have to stop eating these foods altogether, try to avoid consuming them between meals, when the saliva in your mouth is trying to neutralise acids. Cutting out excessive sugary or acidic foods (and drink) from your diet will also mean you improve your physical health overall.
6. Avoid Smoking & Drinking
Tobacco and alcohol can cause bad breath, tooth loss, gum disease and can lead to various mouth and throat cancers. Avoiding smoking and drinking will improve the health of your mouth (and body) significantly and will also reduce your risk of disease and oral cancers.
7. Know the Signs
Bleeding gums, tooth discolouration, chipped teeth, bad breath and sore teeth or gums can all indicate that your mouth needs professional attention. If you notice any irregularities in your mouth or if your teeth/gums are sore, head to your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can determine what is causing the issue and will advise you on what treatment is needed to make sure that your problem doesn’t escalate and become more serious.
Somerset Dental Care provides personalised dental services to patients in the Macarthur and Camden areas. To make a dental appointment with one of our friendly dentists visit our website or contact us at [email protected].
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