Oral hygiene is essential from early years. Regular dental check-ups ensure that your dentist can prevent any future tooth decay and treat them before it becomes a major concern.
Children should start visiting the dental surgery as young as possible. So for your next check-up bring them along. It is possible that they might be too young for a tooth examination, but the visit will help children to get familiarised with the surroundings, like the smells, noise and most important the dentist.
Typically the examination is in-formal and relaxed. A dental mirror is used for a quick examination. Over time the child will feel comfortable going to the dentist and then the dentist will conduct a more thorough examination.
At the check-up, the dentist looks for the following
- If any teeth have erupted (come through the gum)
- Assesses the jaw development
- Examines the soft tissues like tongue, cheeks, lips and throat
- Check for any tooth decay
- As the child gets older, their bite is assessed to check if any orthodontics is required in the future
Preventative Care for your child’s teeth
Babies are born with 20 baby teeth that usually start to come through at 6 months. Therefore it is important oral hygiene starts even before the first tooth erupts, by taking care of the gums. This is can be done by wiping your baby’s gums with a wet facecloth or a clean gauze pad after each feed. With the appearance of teeth, decay becomes a risk, so you can brush their first tooth as soon as it appears with a soft toothbrush and a little water.
All teeth usually appear by the age of 2 – 3 years.
- At this stage, use a small, soft child’s toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste. If unsure, ask your dentist about the right toothpaste.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day. First, when they wake up in the morning and then before going to bed in the at night. It is a good idea to take turns in brushing their teeth for at least 2 minutes.
- Encourage spitting the toothpaste out, but tell your child not to rinse it with water. Rinsing it will clean the fluoride away and reduce its effects.
- Do NOT let your child fall asleep while having a bottle of milk, formula or any fruit juice. All these have sugar that will give rise to bacteria, which will lead to tooth decay.
- Limit the intake of sugar in your child’s diet. In case they have sugary snacks and drinks, keep them to mealtimes only. It is important to feed your child a balanced diet with healthy snacks and water.
- Ask your dentist about Fissure Sealants. These are a thin, plastic coating that fills in the chewing surfaces of the back molars, protecting them from tooth decay.
“There is always a risk for any surgical or invasive procedure. Hence, before proceeding, we recommend you to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.”