Dentist on Paxton has been caring for families over generations. We love having kids in our practice and they love having a ‘ride’ in the chair. We have plenty of colouring-in for them to do in our waiting room area, and if they’re extra good then the dentist will treat them to a special glove balloon!
Most importantly though, we like to make sure that the dentist is a comfortable and familiar environment for kids so that they can create good oral health habits. A healthy smile is a healthy lifestyle, so we encourage them to brush and floss twice a day, limit sugary foods, and drink plenty of water.
We understand that different kids learn in different ways, which is why we like to use a combination of live instruction, reward systems (like our post- hygiene goody bag) and fun visual aides like dental science experiments. We can send you more resources like a brushing/flossing sticker chart, kid-friendly recipe cards for healthy meals and simple science experiments they can do to see the effects of sugar on their teeth.
When should your child’s first visit to the dentist be?
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be within six months of the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday.
How to brush your baby’s teeth:
Once your baby’s primary teeth start to appear, you should use a toothbrush specially designed for babies, with a small head and soft, rounded bristles to gently massage their teeth and gums. Up to the age of 18 months, your baby’s teeth should be brushed with plain water, once a day after the last feed in the evening.
When should you introduce toothpaste?
There are special low-fluoride toothpastes that have been developed for young children. These can be introduced from around the age of 18 months. Only a smear of toothpaste is needed, and encourage your child to spit out the excess toothpaste.
Learning to brush
During their third year, introduce brushing teeth twice a day – in the morning after their breakfast and in the evening just before bed. From around the age of four to five children should begin to learn how to brush and care for their own teeth, however it should be a combined effort by you and your child until around the age of eight.
Move the toothbrush gently in small circles to clean the front surfaces of your child’s teeth. To reach inner surfaces, tilt the toothbrush. Avoid side-to-side scrubbing, which can damage your child’s teeth and gums. Brush the biting and grinding surfaces of back teeth with a firm back and forth motion, and be sure to clean every surface of every tooth.
Should you floss your baby’s teeth?
Yes, but wait until your child is about two and a half years old. Flossing helps remove decay causing bacteria from between their teeth and keeps their gums healthy. It will take time for your child to get used to having their teeth flossed, however, ideally their teeth should be flossed twice a week in areas where the teeth are touching.
If you find flossing your child’s teeth difficult, ask your dentist to show you how to do it. Floss holders are available, which can make flossing easier for some children.
If your toddler resists teeth cleaning or struggles to sit still for two minutes, try these suggestions: