Childrens Dental Care & FAQs for Parents
We firmly believe that caring for children’s teeth and teaching them about good oral health is vital.
We pride ourselves as being a family practice and will endeavour to make your children’s visits as pleasant and informative as possible.
We have made sure both our waiting rooms have ample toys to keep visiting children happy.
Once the teeth start coming through, you should start brushing them. Special brushes for babies are available in most retail outlets and make sure that you use fluoride toothpaste.
Our dentists or hygienists are only too happy to show you how to best brush your child’s teeth.
Sucking a thumb or a dummy for long periods can cause problems in the development of your child’s teeth. This is due to the pressure from the thumb or dummy at the back of the teeth pushing forward meaning that your child may need corrective treatment such as a brace or teeth removed in years to come.
The earlier you can wean your child off sucking a thumb or dummy the better, treating it as part of the growing up process. Avoid dipping your child’s dummy in anything, especially sugar or fruit juice as contact with the teeth will cause tooth decay.
As early as possible! Regular visits to the dentist from an early age will give your child a great start in life for oral health.
Teething is a difficult time for both parents and baby. After six months, the first teeth will normally appear but can come sooner or as late as a year.
- 6 months – first incisors (front teeth)
- 7 months – second incisors
- 12 months – first molars
- 18 months – canines (eye teeth)
- 2-3 years – second molars
As the teeth push through the gums and given that this is a new experience for your baby, it can be quite painful, especially when the bigger molars (back teeth) come through.
Teething can be spotted quite easily when your child becomes bad-tempered and struggles to sleep. Other signs are when your child may start chewing on toys or fingers and dribbles more than usual.
Don’t worry as there are a number of ways to help your baby if in pain. Teething rings are very soothing, especially if they’ve been cooled in the fridge. You can also give your baby cool drinks of milk or water to help soothe sore gums. Alternatively you could use a local anaesthetic gel available from most pharmacists, but please use sparingly and you must follow the instructions carefully.
As many babies are fed from a bottle at some stage, it may be useful to bear in mind that what you put in your baby’s bottle can have a major impact on the future of their teeth. To help you, the British Dental Association has put together these simple guidelines:
Wherever possible put only water or milk in your baby’s bottle.
Don’t be tempted to put fruit juices in a bottle. The acid can attack your baby’s teeth.
Even very weak fruit squash can damage your baby’s teeth. Stick with water or milk to keep the risk of decay to a minimum.
Of course! At school, you want to make sure that your child has everything they need and this includes what goes into their lunchbox.
Try and keep your child’s lunchbox contents healthy and try to avoid chocolate and crisps. Being healthy doesn’t mean boring as there are plenty of products out there that your child can enjoy such as fresh fruit salads, sandwiches cut into interesting shapes and bottles of water with cartoon characters. All are easy to buy and won’t cost a fortune either!
The national standard for healthy eating is:
- one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables
- one portion of milk or dairy item
- one portion of meat, fish or other protein source
- one portion of a starchy food, such as bread, pasta or rice
School sports often involve contact such as football, rugby or hockey which can be just as dangerous to your child’s teeth as to shins and ankles. Here at Chartwell, our Dentists can fit your child with a special mouthguard that will help protect the teeth from flying hockey sticks, shots at goal and high tackles.
As the mouthguard is specially fitted in your child’s mouth, it will offer far greater protection than ones bought off the shelves. As your child gets older, they will grow out of their mouthguard so remember to make sure your child takes their mouthguard with them to their regular examinations to ensure the best possible fit.
Try to avoid fizzy or sugary drinks at all times and give you children milk or water. However we appreciate that this is not always easy, so if you have to, make sure they drink fruit squashes through a straw as they are normally full of sugar which cause tooth decay. Using a straw will direct the juice to the back of the mouth avoiding the teeth. Although there are plenty of low sugar fruit squashes available, they still contain the acid which can cause erosion.
Avoid giving your child a glass of squash or juice when going to bed as the sugar and acid will work overnight causing tooth decay.
When you child gets older, the more independent they want to be so it’s important to teach them how to brush their teeth effectively – including those hard to reach areas. This will ensure that your child can avoid tooth decay, fillings and bad breath.
When brushing, always start and finish at the same point so that you know you have done the job properly. You only need a small amount of toothpaste (about the size of a pea) on the brush and starting with the back teeth, make small circular motions with the brush moving gradually around to the other side of the mouth.
As you finish the last tooth, repeat the same process with the inside of the teeth as this is the part people often forget leaving the bacteria and calculus – or tartar – behind. Once complete, do exactly the same with the bottom set of teeth.