Teaching your kids about the dentist and cleaning best practices

Friday, 21st June, 2019

Do you know what the best way of preventing oral diseases and tooth decay are as an adult? The answer is as simple as learning to look after your teeth when you are a child. Even if you are fully grown with a mouth full of problems, it is not too late for your offspring, or yourself, if you are willing to put in the work.

Our team at Navan Dental know that it is challenging to get your three-year-old to concentrate on brushing their teeth without distraction. At the same time, we also know how scared they may feel at the thought of a stranger wearing a mask looking inside their mouth whilst wielding funny instruments that make noises. Moreover, we know how tempting it is to feed your children sugary snacks when you have no time or energy to cook.

That said, children learn by example. Teaching them how to brush their teeth properly and teaching them why it is important is something that should start as soon as the first milk teeth appear, as is educating them about cavities and links to a sugary-laden, calorific diet.

When should I schedule my child's first visit?

We recommend that you arrange an appointment as soon as possible. The first milk tooth appears at six months of age, all primary teeth are visible at two, and the first adult molars set in at six years.

We know that many fear the dentist, and for children, this fear is passed on by adults. The best way to nip this terror in the bud is by exposing them early on, ensuring that you keep appointments and appear upbeat and positive about the occasion. Arriving early at the dentist  will settle a nervous child, and helps them to get used to the strange sights and sounds.

Find a dentist Navan with whom you and your little one has a good relationship; choose one who is friendly, compassionate and understanding of concerns and anxieties.

Are cleaning habits for children different from adults?

As with adults, children should brush their teeth twice a day, but under the supervision of a parent. If they are very young, allow them to brush their own teeth, but be sure to do a proper clean afterwards, and continue to assist until they are seven or eight, or old enough to clean their teeth themselves properly.

While they are still young, squeeze a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste onto their toothbrush and clean every tooth surface, brushing for between two and three minutes.

We recommend you use a soft-bristled child's toothbrush so as not to damage the milk teeth and gums.

Is there a universal method to teeth-brushing?

There are various effective methods. We can guide you on which one is best for your child, depending on the shape of their teeth and condition of their gums.

However, most people tend to brush their teeth a few at a time using a circular motion. This movement covers more of the surface than just brushing up and down, meaning you are less likely to miss plaque build up.

As adults, we know the importance of dental health and its intrinsic link to our overall health. But children do not. Teach them why it is essential to clean their teeth and visit the dentist Navan, to prevent severe issues arising as grown-ups. And remember, we accept patients with medical aid cards (Irish NHS), making trips to our family dental clinic that much more affordable.

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