Here at Bonfire Dental, we emphasise dental health education. We strongly believe that comprehensive education can spark a change in behaviour, one that might be passed on to the next generation. This starts with you: the parent.
Children go through a lot of dental phases even before they hit high school. While nothing can truly prepare you for what is to come (teething, gappy smiles, braces), we’ve compiled some essential information for kids’ dental health.
Stages of teeth development
Pre-teeth: To care for your child’s gums before all their teeth have erupted, all you need is a clean damp cloth. After eating or drinking, wipe down the gums with the cloth to remove plaque and residual food or drink. This process will protect their gums and emerging teeth, as well as kick-start the oral health routine.
Milk teeth: The health of your child’s milk teeth largely determines that of their adult teeth. Decay in baby teeth can, in extreme cases, travel beneath the gums and impact the mature teeth below. While your child is too young to brush their teeth themselves, you will have to brush their teeth thoroughly… Even if there is just one!
Losing teeth: Here’s where the tooth fairy steps in. The tooth fairy really loves to collect healthy teeth, so make sure your child keeps up their brushing. On those loose teeth and tender gaps, it’s okay to brush a little softer – we don’t want to cause pain, just have a nice clean area that is protected against infection. It might also be good to prioritise dental health check-ups during this period to ensure everything comes along smoothly and the adult teeth are growing into place.
Adult teeth: Now that some grown-up teeth have come through, your child will be subject to grown-up teeth care. If they haven’t been flossing before, it’s a must now! Be sure to let your child know there are no second chances when it comes to adult teeth; care for them now to make sure you have them for life!
Orthodontics: Depending on your child’s mouth and how his or her teeth have developed, you may need to prepare for one or more rounds of orthodontics. The only way to know for sure is to visit your dentist often and talk about your child’s orthodontic options.
Creating an oral hygiene routine
Here are a few steps to include in your child’s oral health routine (or your own!) to promote long-term teeth, gum and mouth health.
Emphasis on ‘routine’: Routine is key for an effective oral health process. Even if you have to set a reminder yourself, have your child always brush before leaving for daycare or school, and right before bed. Before long, it will be second nature to both of you, and forgetting to brush will be a thing of the past.
Do it together: Your children look up to you as a role model. Set a positive example by brushing and flossing together. Not only will it help to cement your child’s oral hygiene routine, you’ll be held accountable for the heatlh of your teeth too.
Make it fun: It’s easy to brush for two minutes twice a day, every day when your toothbrush has Cinderella on it and you’re listening to your favourite Disney tunes as you brush away. Maybe you make a game out of brushing your teeth – a ‘who can make the most toothpaste foam in two minutes’ game is clean fun for the whole family! While you might not be able to get that song out of your head or keep the toothpaste in the sink, your child will remember the funny routine for years to come!
Talk about it: Oral health is one of the easy topics to talk to your child about, so don’t delay it! Remember, the tooth fairy only comes for healthy teeth!
Visit the dentist: You can bring your child to the dentist any time after their first tooth erupts. Early visits to the dentists usually eliminate future dental anxiety. At Bonfire Dental, we love having kids of all ages in our marshmallow chairs! We approach children’s dental education in a way they can understand, and that might spark a lifetime of great oral health.
Children’s Dentistry at Bonfire Dental
At Bonfire Dental, we take your child’s dental health as seriously as your own. With super-smart technology and the softest marshmallow dentist’s chairs you’ll ever find, our facilities cater perfectly to little patients. Call us today to schedule an appointment.