Read on for tips on dentistry for children this spooky season.
With Halloween just around the corner, you might have already stocked up on sweet treats. And if you’ve got children, you’ll know they seem to end up with a never-ending supply of sweets and chocolate at this time of year. While it’s fun to take part in Halloween traditions, it can also be detrimental for the health of our teeth.
Without wanting to take the fun out of the spooky season, we’ve put together some top preventative dentistry tips that will keep your kids’ teeth in tip-top shape, while setting them up with good habits for life.
At Kids Dental, one of the most common reasons we see children suffering from tooth trouble is that they haven’t been brushing them properly. We’ve all been there – with a child who wants to ‘do it themselves’, without actually brushing effectively. If you’re wondering ‘how should a child brush their teeth?’ we would advise the following:
⦁ Apply the correct amount of toothpaste. We recommend a smear for children aged 0-3 years and a pea-sized amount for children aged three and above.
⦁ Angle the toothbrush 45 degrees.
⦁ Move the brush back and forth gently, brushing each tooth and paying close attention to hard-to-reach areas.
⦁ Place the toothbrush in the vertical position to clean the front teeth.
⦁ Brush the tongue to remove bacteria from the surface.
Preventative dentistry is all about staying on top of your oral hygiene and health so that it doesn’t become a problem in the future. In effect, by brushing teeth effectively, you are reducing the risk that your child will need emergency dental treatment or will need a procedure in the future.
When Halloween brings a constant supply of foods laden with sugar, it can be easy to allow your children to graze on it throughout the day, particularly at weekends while they’re at home. However, when the sugar sits on the teeth all day, it has more chance to damage your child’s teeth and can lead to plaque building up. Plaque is a sticky form of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Because it is acidic, it can destroy tooth enamel and lead to gingivitis or even tooth loss. Therefore, we recommend limiting sugary snacks to one point in the day, so it’s easy to clean teeth afterwards and so that the sugar is on the teeth for the least amount of time.
Preventative dentistry doesn’t just have to be for kids – it’s something we should all get used to practising since it prolongs the health of our smile.
Even if we explain the benefits of brushing teeth regularly, some children might still refuse to do it properly. Everything seems more fun with songs and games and toothbrushing is no exception. So, creating some Halloween songs and games might encourage them to take part in keeping their teeth healthy. If you can, try to lead by example and let them watch you brush your teeth. Finally, end the toothbrushing fun with rewards, encouraging your child to do it all again later in the day.
Orthodontic braces are one of the world’s greatest inventions, but they’re renowned for collecting food and bacteria. If your child has them and has been eating Halloween treats, take particular care to clean their teeth after eating and check that the sweets haven’t stuck onto the metal components. It’s not always easy to see debris and plaque, so effective toothbrushing is imperative to prevent tooth damage.
While there is nothing wrong with having the occasional treat, it’s important to equip your child with the knowledge to make healthier choices. Talk to them about why you want them to look after their teeth and encourage them to be responsible when it comes to maintaining their oral health.
Do you need an expert on dentistry for children?
By your child visiting their dentist regularly, their teeth can be thoroughly checked and potential problems can be spotted before they escalate. If you’re looking for dentistry for children in the Mitcham, Surrey area, we can help. We’ll examine your child’s teeth and give you a full report on their health and give you some preventative dentistry tips too. To book an appointment for your child, please call us on 020 8646 6300 and we’ll be happy to assist.