Ensuring your children are healthy and safe is a prime concern for parents, and it can often feel overwhelming. Making sure they’re eating right and getting the right nutrients in their diets, getting good quality exercise, and having access to great health care are all major considerations when parenting. It can often be quite confusing figuring out certain aspects of healthcare for your child, especially when arranging regular checkups without being prompted. When it comes to dental care, it’s easy to overlook this but it’s recommended that children visit the dentist at least once a year, and also as early as possible in their development. Here are the main reasons why it’s important for your children to get early dental care.
Learning About Hygiene
There are plenty of people out there that might still lack the proper knowledge on how to take care of their own teeth, and so it’s easy for them to pass on bad habits and hygiene knowledge to their own children. There are lots of important things to learn about taking care of your children’s teeth and gums.
Did you know, for example, that it’s important to clean your baby’s gums before and after teeth have developed? Bacteria can still build up on the gums and can cause problems if left unchecked so it’s important to gently clean them with a damp cloth or gauze. Once your baby’s teeth have begun to come through, you can use a baby toothbrush with a minimal amount of fluoride toothpaste to gently clean them.
Reduce Anxiety Towards Dentists
It’s a well-known trope of children being fearful of the dentist. Sitting in that big chair and having a stranger looming over you can be intimidating and make you feel vulnerable, and these fears can often carry on into adulthood. Many dentists try to do everything they can now to alleviate these concerns from an early age to prevent fear in the future. Bringing a child to the dentist from an early age is the perfect way of getting them used to essential medical situations that may otherwise be unsettling, as this will encourage better behaviour and provide you with hassle-free visits in the future.
Ensuring Teeth Are Growing Correctly
As our children’s teeth grow, they can very easily become misaligned, and this can be caused by everything from genetics to our environment and general growth patterns. A smaller, underdeveloped jaw, for example, can present issues in tooth growth as they compete for space where it’s limited. A dentist will be able to identify any growing issues early, especially when it comes to permanent teeth, and will offer corrective treatments like braces to rectify this.
Teeth braces can be fitted to help straighten them, although metal permanent braces can be uncomfortable for your child and even cause them to suffer from anxiety and confidence issues. There are alternatives that are less invasive such as clear braces, which provide the same level of treatment but are easier to clean as they can be removed and don’t present issues with eating certain foods. The cost of clear braces is higher as the NHS only provides metal ones. For clear braces, and removable aligners, you will need to opt for private treatment, although these can be much more affordable than you might expect.
Identifying Oral Health Problems
Toothache in children isn’t uncommon and taking your child to the dentist will help you to discern whether or not it’s a severe problem or not. When your child is young the chances are the pain is caused by teething which can start from around 6 months of age. This pain can appear regularly throughout childhood until their adult teeth have finished coming through. However, there are some cases where children develop toothache due to genuine health problems such as tooth decay caused by high levels of sugar being consumed and poor dental hygiene. There are pain relief medications that can be prescribed by your dentist for a toothache, and procedures that can be taken to deal with decaying teeth, such as a filling or even the removal of the tooth itself.
Get Them Used To Cleaning Their Teeth
The best way to prevent these unpleasant problems is by cleaning your child’s teeth properly and to also teach them to clean their own teeth once they’re old enough to do so. Your dentist and dental hygienist can provide tips on how best you and your child can keep their teeth clean, from brushing and flossing techniques to the right toothbrushes and toothpastes to use.
Take as much advice as possible from your child’s dentist and help to pass on that knowledge to them once they’re able to start cleaning their teeth on their own. It’s hard to make children understand the importance of this, so helping them turn toothbrushing into a habit or something fun is a common tip from dental professionals. While these tips are incredibly useful, it’s primarily up to you as a parent or guardian to ensure your child’s teeth are staying clean and healthy.