Taking Care of your Child's Teeth

Taking Care of your Child's Teeth

Ingraining good dental habits in your children will prevent you from having to take too many trips to the dentist later in their lives. It encourages them to value and take care of their own teeth, without you having to stand over them, and leads to good dental hygiene as adults.

Dental Routine for Children

Establishing a regular routine, as with all things child-related, is the key. You can start very early; using a very soft brush to brush your baby’s gums when you bath them, and no doubt they’ll want to have a try themselves as time goes on. Supervise them closely, and brushing then becomes established as part of the washing routine in your child’s mind.

Caring for Milk Teeth

Once the first milk teeth begin to appear (usually around 6 months old, but all children vary) you can use a soft brush with some tap water.

Ask your dentist at Crescent about using children’s toothpaste; some schools of thought suggest not using toothpaste at all until the child is over two years of age.

Once your child does start using toothpaste, be it a tiny amount of the family brand or a special child’s toothpaste, it should have an appropriate fluoride content.  The fluoride element is important; it should be at least 1,000ppm (parts per million) to be effective in the prevention of tooth decay.

Having their very own toothbrush (child-size, with soft bristles) allows the child to feel accountable for brushing their own teeth; something they will enjoy doing themselves if you encourage them.

Effective Method of Brushing

Watch over them as they brush; make sure you control the amount of toothpaste that goes on the brush, and brush the teeth for at least two minutes before bed and at some other point in the day.

Guide your child’s movements to ensure they brush properly, watching themselves in a mirror helps to brush up and down. They should spit out the excess toothpaste from their mouth but don’t rinse with lots of water. Keep your child on front of the sink until they’re finished brushing, as running around with a toothbrush in their mouth is unsafe.

You should take your little boy or girl to the dentist by age two, so that they are comfortable in the environment and get to know your dentist. Any early problems can be identified quickly, so preventative care can start as soon as required.

Gentle Sedation for Children

Crescent Dental offer inhalation sedation, a combination of Nitrous Oxide and oxygen, to relax younger patients if required.

It’s useful when treatment may be extensive, or the young patient is particular anxious, and is a gentle alternative to general anaesthetic. For further details, please see the Parents’ Guide to Inhalation Sedation at www.crescentdental.ie

Fissure Sealants

A Fissure Sealant can be done once your child’s permanent teeth have started to come through (usually at the age of about six or seven) to protect them from decay.

It involves using a special plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to keep food particles and germs out of the teeth grooves.

Dental sealant can last from 5-10 years. The very thin plastic resin bonds well to the surface of the tooth, eliminating any fissures by filling them before cracks set in.