Dental Excellence recommend that you should bring your child to the dentist as soon as possible, not only to keep their teeth and gums healthy but also to get them used to the experience. The earlier you start then the less likely there will be problems that could cause your child to associate the dentist with traumatic experiences.
When should I bring my child to the dentist?
If you have any concerns, then at any time. Generally, though, we recommend that formal dental check-ups start at about two to two and a half years of age when the child is old enough to understand.
If you are having a short dental visit such as a check-up or a clean, then we recommend that your child comes too so they are able to observe the surroundings without having the pressure to perform.
Regular, brief visits will ensure that children are confident and more than happy to come to the dentist. Regular, early childhood dental visits aid in setting up a lifetime habit of good oral care.
When should I start brushing my childs’ teeth?
As soon as they appear! You may want to use a clean, damp facewasher when the teeth first erupt into the mouth, then progress to a soft, small child-size toothbrush later. The World Health Organisation have recommended that no child under 3 years old should be using toothpaste as they are not capable to spitting it out yet. Then, when they do start using toothpaste, we recommend that you use a reduced fluoride toothpaste, and only a very small (pea-size) amount and remind them to spit out, then spit out the rinsing water.
Do brush the gums and the teeth in a circular motion, but do not scrub! Overly vigorous brushing (especially with a medium or hard toothbrush) may cause gum damage and/or wear the tooth away. If you are unsure of the best toothbrushing technique, please ask us at your next dental visit, and we will be more than happy to show you.
Are baby teeth important?
Yes, they are for the following reasons:
- They allow the child to progress to solid foods which require chewing
- They allow for proper speech development (children with missing teeth and/or bad bites can have speech problems)
- They maintain the space for the permanent tooth
- They allow the face to develop nicely
- They give your child a beautiful and confident smile and aid in your child’s positive feeling about his/her appearance.