A child’s first tooth is a pretty special occasion! Your child can now bite which means tasting a wider variety of foods and developing some taste buds.
Ideally, at Taree Dental Care we recommend introducing your child to the dentist about 6 months after all his or her baby teeth have come through.
Not only are regular check-ups essential to maintain your child’s teeth, gums, and smile – it’s proven that an early, non-invasive dental checkup goes along way to avoiding long-term dental anxiety.
A lot has changed in the last decade and dental visits are now way more comfortable then they have ever been. (We like to make it fun at our Taree Dentist with a bright and cheery clinic and your kids can even play their favourite TV show while sitting in the dental chair!)
Here are some tips to help maintain your kid’s healthy smile.
Teaching your child to look after their teeth from a young age is critical. Brushing teeth doesn’t have to be a dreaded daily mission – try to get your child actively involved.
Let your curious pre-schooler pick out their own new toothbrush and a great-tasting toothpaste. Kids who take the lead are more likely to make daily brushing a personal habit – and it will feel like less of a chore.
A word of warning though, even though your pre-schooler might want to ‘fly solo’ when it comes to brushing and flossing, you’ll still need to supervise his or her technique and help ensure that the teeth are cleaned at least twice daily.
As your child then heads into ‘big school’ and gains a tiny bit of maturity, it’s the ideal time to seriously reinforce those healthy oral habits. Afterall, your kids only get ‘one shot‘ once their adult teeth start to come through from the age of about 6 or 7 years.
You will know this is happening because it’s when the words ‘tooth fairy’ and ‘money’ will start to enter your child’s vocabulary on a more regular basis.
Do everything to make a trip to the dentist a positive experience. Try to plan your child’s dental visit for a time when they’re well rested, if you can. Don’t tell them to be brave (they already are), don’t bribe them, or use the dentist as punishment or a deterrent. Believe me, those strategies do more harm than good.
It’s also important that you don’t express any of your own dental fears to them. If you are feeling nervous this can rub off onto your child, so it’s important to stay calm and positive.
Rest assured that at a young age, usually little or no treatment is required and it’s more about creating trust between child and dentist as well as giving you, the responsible parent or carer, some guidance to help set your child up for a lifetime of good dental hygiene.
At your child’s appointment we might review and discuss:
✔️Bite (how your child’s teeth will come together)
✔️Soft tissues such as gums and cheeks
✔️Any habits, such as thumb sucking
✔️Risk of decay and how to prevent it
✔️Prevention of trauma to your child’s mouth
✔️Provide some nutritional advice.
Remember we have your children’s best interests at heart and we like good habits to be formed early. Educating your child, and you, is all part of the process. Afterall, information is power.
As a general rule, the earlier your child visits the dentist the better. A lot of my patients in their middle years with dental problems weren’t encouraged to look after their teeth when they were younger – and sadly, now it shows.
Your child’s early dental care, as well as creating good and lasting habits, will help protect them from tooth decay and other significant (and potentially costly) future dental treatment.
At Taree Dental Care we have a professional team and we pride ourselves on providing excellent dental care for your children, with a strong focus on prevention over cure.
We specialise in children’s dentistry and we are Taree’s leading children’s dentist.
We are also amalgamated with the Child’s Dental Benefits Scheme through Medicare, so your child aged between 2 and 17 years may also be eligible for dental benefits.
To find out if your child is eligible, grab your Medicare number and get in touch with us today at Taree Dental Care on (02) 6550 0960.
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