If you have children, you as
their parents are responsible for making sure their teeth are well looked
after. This includes teaching them how to brush, how much toothpaste to use,
talking to them about sugary foods and making sure they consume enough calcium.
Since they were born, you have
taken your child to the doctor to make sure they are developing well and to get
preventive treatments like vaccinations.
Unfortunately, too many parents forget that taking your child to visit
early in life is just as important as doctors’ visits. Ideally, you should
start taking your child for dental check-ups when they are about 12 months old,
just when their teeth have started to come through.
Early dental visits
While it may seem a little
young, it is worth noting that many young children under the age of 4 years
suffer from cavities- as many as 25% of all children under 4 have had at least
one cavity, meaning these will need treatment as early as possible to prevent
Also, early exposure to dentists
is beneficial for your child later in life. If problems are dealt with earlier,
your child is less likely to be afraid of dentists in the future, meaning they
will not suffer from severe dental issues in their teenage and adult years.
Similarly, it will make dentist
trips routine in your child’s mind, basically, they will become aware that
dental hygiene is just as important as other aspects of health. They will,
therefore, be more likely to look after their teeth to a higher standard than
children who have missed out on early dental check-ups.
Their first appointment
When you take your child for
their first dental
check-up, try to use positive language and to reassure them if they become
scared. This is all new to them and it is understandable if they are
Luckily, their first dental
visit, provided they are around 12 months of age, will be an easy one. You will
be asked about your child’s medical history and if they have any illnesses and
the dental professional will show you how to brush your child’s teeth. If your
child has teeth in their mouth they may even be able to have them cleaned in
the surgery, by a hygienist. Your child may even get a free toothbrush!
Choosing the right dentists
There are many dentists that
specialise in paediatric dentistry. It is important to locate a dentist
specialising in this area, as children are at risk from different dental issues
Be aware that your child may not like the first
dentist you take them to. This can make them fearful of future dental
appointments. We advise you to try meeting multiple dentists, until they find
one they like and feel safe with. This will prevent them from developing a
phobia or an aversion to dental professionals.