The importance of oral hygiene for your kids

Child smiling at Jannali Dentist

A child’s first tooth is a pretty special occasion! Your child can not only bite but they can also try a wider variety of foods and start to develop their own little expert taste buds.  Who knows – your child could be the next Matt Preston!

Ideally, at our Jannali Dentist practice we recommend introducing your child to the dentist about 6 months after all his or her baby teeth have come through.

Not only are regular check-ups essential to maintain your child’s teeth, gums, and smile,  it’s also proven that an early, non-invasive dental checkup goes along way to avoiding long term dental anxiety.

A lot has changed in the last decade and dental visits are now way more comfortable then they’ve ever been.  We do everything we can to make your kid’s dental check-up a fun experience – occasionally we even hear laughter coming from the treatment room.🤣

Here are some great tips to help maintain your child’s healthy smile.

Get your kid involved and engaged early in their oral hygiene

Teaching your child to look after their teeth from a young age is critical.  Brushing teeth doesn’t have to be a dreaded daily mission – try to get your child actively involved.

Let your curious pre-schooler  pick out their own new toothbrush and a great-tasting toothpaste.  Kids who take the lead are more likely to make daily brushing a personal habit – and less of a chore.

A word of warning though, even though your pre-schooler might want to ‘fly solo’ when it comes to brushing and flossing, you’ll still need to supervise his or her technique and help ensure that the teeth are cleaned at least twice daily.

As your child then heads into ‘big school’ and gains a tiny bit of maturity, it’s the ideal time to  seriously reinforce those healthy oral habits.  Afterall, your children only get ‘one shot‘ once their adult teeth start to come through from about the age of 6 or 7 years.

You will know this is happening because it’s when the words ‘tooth fairy’ and ‘money’ will start to enter your child’s vocabulary on a more regular basis. 

What to expect at your child’s trip to the dentist

It’s a great time to book your child in for a dental check-up over school holidays.  Afterall, you check your kids uniforms, and their shoes, so why not their teeth?🤷

At Jannali Dental Care we really try hard to make a trip to the dentist a positive experience.  We have a bright and cheery child-friendly clinic and your kids can even play their favourite TV show while sitting in the dental chair!

For your part, try to plan your child’s dental visit for a time when they’re well rested, if you can.

Don’t tell them to be brave (they already are), don’t bribe them, or use the dentist as punishment or a deterrent.  Believe me, those strategies do more harm than good.

It’s also important that you don’t express any of your own dental fears to them.    If you are feeling nervous this can rub off onto your child, so it’s important to stay calm and positive.

Rest assured that at a young age, usually little or no treatment is required and it’s more about creating trust between child and dentist and giving you, the responsible parent or carer, some guidance to help set your child up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene.

At your child’s appointment we might review and discuss:

✔️Brushing technique

✔️Bite (how your child’s teeth will come together)

 ✔️Soft tissues such as gums and cheeks

✔️Any habits, such as thumb sucking

 ✔️Risk of decay and how to prevent it

 ✔️Prevention of trauma to your child’s mouth, and

 ✔️Provide some nutritional advice.

Remember we have your child’s best interests at heart and we like good habits to be formed early.  Educating your child, and you, is all part of the process.  Helpful information can be a very powerful thing.

As a general rule, the earlier your child visits the dentist the better.  A lot of my patients in their middle years with dental problems weren’t encouraged to look after their teeth when they were younger – and sadly, now it shows.

Your child’s early dental care, as well as creating good and lasting habits, will help protect them from tooth decay and other significant (and potentially costly) future dental treatment.

Is your child eligible for the Medicare Child Dental Benefits Scheme?

At Jannali Dental Care we have a professional team and we pride ourselves on providing excellent dental care for your children, with a strong focus on prevention over cure. Our Jannali dentists are experienced in all areas of kids’ dental care.

We are also amalgamated with the Child’s Dental Benefits Scheme through Medicare, so your child aged between 2 and 17 years may be eligible for dental benefits.

To find out if your child is eligible, grab your Medicare number and get in touch with us today at Jannali Dental Care on ️ (02) 9528 9204.

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