Becoming a parent is a time of joy, but it can also be fraught with worry. People want their little ones to have the best possible start in every way, but sometimes struggle to ensure that is the case. Here at Woodbury Park Dental, we understand that helping small children to take care of their teeth is not always easy. We offer advice on how to choose the best tools for looking after little teeth, and how and when to get started.
As the dentist in Tunbridge Wells, we advise new parents to start brushing at the first sign of a new tooth or teeth. This means that even if a baby only has one or two teeth, it is still important to get into the routine of gently brushing every morning and evening. Parents should purchase a super soft toothbrush that is designed for little mouths and use age-appropriate toothpaste.
What to do if the child is reluctant to brush
Babies and toddlers often decide that they do not want to have their teeth brushed, much to the concern of their parents. However, there are a few things that can be done to help encourage little ones to keep their teeth clean. Firstly, if the child is very small, a distraction can work well to allow the parent to brush their teeth. This can take the form of singing or playing a favourite song, or even watching a television programme that they are especially fond of.
Toddlers or children who are a little older can be encouraged to brush by making it a family affair. If they see their parents and older siblings brushing their teeth at the same time, children are usually keen to join in the fun.
Visit the dentist
It is recommended that children are registered with a dentist by the time they reach a year old. Parents should then make appointments for regular check-ups. Seeing the dentist regularly from a young age has two important benefits.
Firstly, your dentist in Tunbridge Wells will be able to spot any potential issues with the child’s teeth and take action before they become problematic. Secondly, making these visits a part of the routine from early on means that children are much less likely to feel nervous about visiting the dentist. This will benefit the child well into adulthood and encourage them to take good care of their teeth.
Limit sugar and fizzy drinks
Most parents enjoy giving their child the treat of a little chocolate or some sweets, but these should be limited as much as possible. Fizzy drinks should be an occasional treat, and that includes those that are sugar free. Diet carbonated drinks have the potential to erode the enamel on the teeth just as much as sugary ones, so they are not necessarily a better option.
Helping children to look after their teeth doesn’t just mean that their childhoods are less likely to involve dental issues that need treatment. People who have had help to take care of their teeth and gums in early life are much more likely to have good teeth as adults that require minimal intervention to stay healthy.