A lot of parents ask questions such as when is the best time to start taking kids to the dentist and how to encourage them to brush, and do it correctly..
We’ve compiled a list of our top tips:
Bring them along as soon as they get their first teeth. It’s good to get them into the habit from a young age so they’re not so apprehensive later on.
Bring small children with you to one of your appointments if possible. They can meet the dentist and get used to the surroundings. We offer a free examination to children under 5 if they accompany a parent to their appointment. We have some toys and books to amuse them if there’s a bit of a wait. We try and keep appointments short and sweet.
A great deal of adults have a fear of the dentist. Don’t talk about your fears or previous unpleasant experiences in front of little ones. It’s amazing what information they pick up without you realising. If you are relaxed and happy about attending the clinic then they will be too. Try to make it an enjoyable experience as much as possible.
Children up to the age of around 7 are more than likely unable to brush their teeth properly. If you are concerned that your child does not do it correctly or for long enough then do it for them. Try sitting them on your lap facing away from you. Hold their chin gently and brush in gentle circular motions over every tooth surface for at least 2 minutes. Try brushing for 30 seconds top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. Remember to tell them to spit and don’t rinse. This should ideally be done after breakfast and before bed every day. There are some great apps now available for teeth brushing time. We recommend Disney’s Magic Timer for smaller children and Brush DJ for those who like to boogie as they brush!
Encourage your bigger children to come for an examination every year. It’s important that teeth and gums are regularly checked especially if they are eating and drinking sweet stuff.
Encourage your children to drink water and milk. If you don’t buy fizzy drinks then they can’t drink them (at home at least). Be strong and say “no” when in supermarkets. They’ll thank you for it when they’re older. A treat every once in a while is of course ok! Limit sugary and sticky snacks where possible.
The key is to get them into good habits from as early as possible.
If you want advice about any of this pop in for a chat or make an appointment. We’re happy to give you some advice. Don’t be embarrassed to ask.