Children’s Dental Health: Are You Passing On Healthy Oral Habits?

Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? Up to a quarter of young children in the UK suffer from tooth decay and it remains the most common hospital procedure among 6-10-year-olds – scary statistics, but we believe they can change with better oral health education. Here are some of the most common questions parents ask us about how to take care of their kids’ teeth.

When should I first take my child to the dentist?

The sooner you take your child to the dentist, the sooner they will become familiar with the environment and check-up process. We recommend bringing your youngsters in for an appointment as soon as their first milk teeth appear (usually around 6 months) so we can make sure everything is progressing normally and get them used to having their mouths examined.

What’s the best way to brush baby teeth?

If children are aged 3 or younger, brush their teeth twice a day using a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Brush in tiny circles along teeth and gums for 2 minutes, focusing on the back molars where they are most at risk of cavities. For older children, supervise brushing to make sure they only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and encourage them to spit out toothpaste without rinsing so they get maximum fluoride protection.

My child hates brushing their teeth – what can I do?

Tooth brushing doesn’t have to be a chore – turn it into a fun activity that kids look forward to at bedtime by playing their favourite song or reading a favourite story while they brush. If you’re technically inclined there are numerous apps to make brushing fun (try Brush DJ, Toothsavers, or Chomper Chums). You can give your kids more control over their oral health by letting them choose their own toothbrush, and if they need some encouragement for good oral health habits then creating a reward chart with a weekly prize for good brushing behaviour might help.

Is taking care of baby teeth as important as taking care of adult teeth?

Yes!  We can’t overemphasise how important it is to look after your children’s baby teeth. You can read more about the reasons why in our recent blog post.

How can I strengthen my kids’ teeth?

In addition to getting them into a regular brushing and flossing routine, you can ensure your kids are on the best possible oral health path by keeping their sugar intake to a minimum and encouraging them to eat tooth-strengthening foods such as cheese, eggs, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds.

At Cliftonville Dental, we do our utmost to make children feel comfortable and relaxed when they visit the dentist. Our caring, friendly team of dental care professionals will work hard to make sure your child’s experience is a pleasant one. To book your child’s next appointment, call us on 01604 809306 or book online today.

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