After attending the Pandora Parent Group for a discussion on teeth the other day with a group of motivated mums I thought it would be great to write a blog article on the key teeth tips for parents to know.
1. Attend the Dentist Early On
When the baby was born the doctor was there and so when the teeth are born it’s a great time to connect with your dentist.
The dentist may be able to get a bit of a glance at the teeth but even if they can not the key information on how parents can look after the developing teeth will be passed on.
2. Below the age of 6 use a low fluoride children’s toothpaste.
Kids tend to swallow toothpaste at a young age and if they swallow too much adult toothpaste it can affect the appearance of the adult teeth developing beneath their baby teeth.
3. Brush kids teeth for them – twice a day – before the age of 8.
Before this age kids’ lack the skill to brush their teeth properly all by themselves.
So even if they resist – get over their shoulder and make it happen!
4. At the age of 4/5 get them to spit the toothpaste out – but NOT rinse their mouth with water
As soon as kids are aware enough to not swallow toothpaste get them in the habit of spitting out all their toothpaste but NOT rinsing with water.
The minerals in toothpaste have a much greater chance to “soak” into the teeth if not immediately rinsed away.
5. Around the age of 6 years get them using an Adult Toothpaste like COLGATE TOTAL.
At the age of 6 kids get their first adult teeth (usually the 6 year old molars) which need to last for the next 90 years!
So the extra protection of a “full strength” adult toothpaste is needed.
Specifically we recommend COLGATE TOTAL because it combines the strengthening minerals (like all toothpastes) with a unique antibacterial (which prevents both gum disease and decay).
And no we do not own shares in this company! – it is just a good product.
6. Follow up sugar acid with water or brushing
Sugary food and drinks when left in the mouth produce acid which attacks the teeth.
To minimise the effect of this try and immediately follow up each sugary snack, sugary drink, lolly (or even something healthy like FRUIT) with a drink of water or brushing.
7. Bundle the sugary foods together.
Grouping daily sugary snacks into one sitting (eg morning/ afternoon tea) and following up with a glass of water or brushing greatly reduces the length of time that sugar acid has to attack the teeth.
That way the child’s mouth will be acidic for 5 minutes instead of 5 hours!
8. Get a custom fitted mouthguard
It’s essential that the risks to teeth of contact sports are reduced with a suction fitted, custom made mouthguard like we produce.
Injuries obtained to children’s teeth due to loose non-thermofitted generic mouthgards or not wearing one at all can affect their smile for LIFE so it is worth investing in one each season.
A common question many parents have is “does my child need braces and at what age.”
Most kids get braces at the beginning of their teenage growth spurt to allow the teeth to be guided into place as they grow.
For boys this is 12-14 and girls 10-12.
Sometimes however there are issues that need to addressed before this age but these are generally picked up at routine checkups eg cross bites, open bites.
10. When should you first visit the dentist?
The earlier you introduce children to the dentist the more they tend to like coming in.
So we recommend one visit per year during the first 4 years of a childs’ life before we commence with the standard 6 monthly checkups.
This is as much to help educate mum and dad as it is to check the little one.
Many parents take us up on our “3pm – 5pm After school shift” or a Saturday Appointment which we set aside for families.
11. $1000 From Medicare: Prevention is cheaper than cure!
Routine checkups tend to save considerable time, money and suffering.
We understand parents are often squeezed for cash and have systems in place to maximise affordability.
Many children are now eligible for $1000 BULK BILLED dental work every 2 years under the new Medicare Child Dental Benefits Scheme.
We are a registered provider under the scheme so please contact us and we will be happy to check if you are eligible.
We also accept all major health funds and frequently tailor treatment plans to suit all sorts of budgets.
If you have any specific questions around your child’s dental health after reading this general information, please contact one of our friendly team.
You can also visit our website or our Facebook Groups for more details.
Treating families and watching their smiles grow is a privilege we enjoy. We look forward to your call.
Australia Dental Burpengary
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Practice Manager: Debbie
Australia Dental Clontarf
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Practice Manager: Anita