Prevention is always better than the cure, and there is no better argument for this than with the teeth of children.
When children have dental problems there is almost no way of convincing a child to open their mouth for treatment. Some children can understand what needs to be done and can sit still in a chair for treatment, but a good many will refuse. A good Dental Professional will have techniques to coax the child onto the correct path, but some children still won’t have anything to do with it.
The only alternatives for these children is treatment in hospital under general anaesthetic. There are risks associated with general anaesthetic that are inherent, a risk that most parents would rather avoid. Not to mention the cost!
And the entire drama of the events will create an anxiety for the child – the fear of dentists!
We recommend instilling a strong habit of regular teeth brushing for children, the earlier this starts the better, and it needs to be strongly reinforced.
We also recommend coming to see a Dentist or Oral Health Therapist (OHT) regularly from an early age, just don’t wait for there to be a painful problem.
Oral Health Therapists have a special interest in children's dental care.
An examination with a OHT will include
Here are the top 10 tips for children 5-12, taken from the Victorian Department of Health (for more detail we recommend you visit their website - www.dhsv.org.au/dental-advice
1 Use a fluoride toothpaste
2 Brush teeth and gum line 2 x every day, after breakfast and before bed
3 Drink plenty of tap water
4 Children do not need fruit juice or other sweet drinks
5 Limit sugary foods
6 Healthy meals and snacks are important for healthy teeth
7 Visit the Dentist by the time they go to school
8 Visit the Dentist regularly
9 See a Dentist as a matter of urgency if your child damages their teeth or face
10 Wear a mouth-guard during contact sport