The vulnerability of children can stretch way beyond childhood physical ailments and common colds. One thing we often forget is dental hygiene and dental health. It may be a difficult thing to approach with children, as the dentist office is sometimes not a very happy experience for children but it of course doesn’t have to be this way. The importance of dental health is massive, as it can prevent many illnesses and issues further down the line if their teeth are taken care of from a young age. Children can show very early symptoms of gum disease, often referred to as gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums which can be easy to treat and get control of, but if left untreated or undiagnosed, it can pose a threat in later life and be a possible cause of gum disease.
Poor dental hygiene can cause a range of issues, one of which is tooth loss from poor management. As dentists often like to say, prevention is better than the cure; you cannot replace or regrow teeth, so ensuring that they stay healthy and your child is regularly visiting the dentist, from a very young age, is vital practice that should be implemented by all parents. We fully believe that all issues are preventable and like to make our patients feel happy, healthy and prepared for all eventualities. One critical error that should not be made by parents, is that dental care does not need to start from infancy – it does. Keeping a child’s baby teeth healthy, brushing gently but regularly, or if they are small babies, using clean damp cloths to keep their gums healthy, is so important. If they are just a small infant, their gums need to be clean and ready for the growth of baby teeth. We instil this into all our patients so if you have a small infant at home, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment for their first check up.
Baby teeth first start to show through at around 6-8 months old and teething can be a difficult time for babies. By the time your child is 2 years old, they will have grown almost all of their teeth (if not all of them) and they should have already had check ups to ensure the growth is okay and their gums are healthy. Children do tend to develop at different rates and this also refers to children who are growing in their adult teeth; there is no set age but any time under the age of six is classed as premature/early. The first time your child visits us, we will offer a short examination to determine their gum health and their teeth and this is also a brilliant time to start building up a good relationship with our team and Dr. Doris Giraldo and for us to learn about your child – the younger the child begins to visit the dentist, the less apprehension they may have in later life. Sometimes x-rays may need to be taken but this is incredibly non-invasive and we will always talk to you and your child through any procedure or form of treatment. We ensure all of our patients feel welcome and comfortable. Dr. Giraldo and the New Dimension Dentistry team are one of the best and are always more than pleased to answer any questions and queries you may have about your child’s dental health and any treatment.
Prevention Is Better Than The Cure
We certainly promote this and we often explain how best for parents to assist their child with their dental health and to prevent cavities and other issues. By the age of two, you should be gently brushing their baby teeth twice a day to help stop the build up of bacteria and plaque which can be detrimental to their dental health. Whilst brushing and flossing is one major way to promote healthy teeth and gums, there are also other preventative methods and techniques to be implemented which will work hand in hand with your efforts. Some of the techniques are:
- Avoid regular snacking (especially sugary foods and drinks) – these can prove harmful to your child’s teeth over time.
- Remember to brush and floss regularly – flossing is not always an easy task for children to undertake but it is important to implement this habit as early as possible.
- Limit processed sugars, hard candies, and carbonated drinks – these can be damaging over time and wear off enamel or cause premature baby tooth loss which can cause issues.
- Choose healthy treats – healthier snacks for healthier teeth are important!
- Make their oral health a priority – ensure they understand the importance of brushing and flossing from a young age and make it fun for them also.
- Enjoy the occasional sweet with a good brush and floss soon thereafter – brushing teeth soon after food and treats can help prevent any food damaging or building up in between teeth.
- Help break them out of bad habits – thumb sucking can possibly be a little worrisome long-term for children’s teeth and how they grow, so keeping a close eye on your child’s habits will assist.
Dr. Giraldo will be happy to discuss further issues with you and speak through the best ways to maintain good oral health. We also offer emergency care, because we appreciate that issues arise, children too can suffer with dental trauma and problems, so you can rest assured that we are available to assist with any issue that may be encountered with your child at any time. From the moment of their first visit, our team will make sure you are given all the necessary information and relevant treatment for your child as well as the regular check ups that they need to take them on into adulthood with healthy gums and impeccable dental health. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!