All parents know just how disobedient children can sometimes be. From the defiant tantrums of a toddler to the more subtle ‘avoidance tactics’ of older children, it can sometimes seem that we are constantly ‘at war’ with our own kids. Whilst some subjects are just irritating, such as untidy bedrooms, others, including making sure that they clean their teeth are much more important and can have long term implications for their oral health.
In today’s blog, our Cheshunt dental team offer our thoughts on how to make sure that the younger members of your family grow up with strong and healthy teeth.
Start them young
If you have a young baby, our first suggestion is that you book an appointment at our local dentist at around one year old. If your child has passed this age, don’t worry, just book it as soon as possible. Visiting a dental practice at a young age helps your child to see visiting the dentist as a normal and positive thing to do.
Don’t just tell your child that sugar is bad for their teeth, but explain to them, in child friendly terms, why this is the case. There are lots of videos now available on the internet which will make this education more fun for them.
We don’t think that we have ever met a child who didn’t like sugar. Rather than trying to prevent them eating any, it is probably better to be realistic and accept that sugar will play some part in their diet. This doesn’t mean that we can’t help to keep this as low as possible by offering alternatives to sweets as a reward when they have been good. A small toy or perhaps extended TV time are both tooth friendly rewards that could be used.
Make cleaning fun
Few children like to brush their teeth and many will often avoid it if possible. You should always supervise younger children especially, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too. There are many phone apps and “funky” toothbrushes that can be used for this purpose and that can really help to get kids in the habit of cleaning their teeth from a young age.
Don’t pass on your fears
If you are a nervous dental patient, it is likely that your child will pick up on this. We are always happy to discuss any issues that may cause anxiety in our patients to help tackle it. If you are unable to overcome this, consider allowing a more confident relative to bring the child, especially until they become more confident themselves.
If you have a child who has not seen a dentist or has done so irregularly, one of the best things that you can do to make sure they have a healthy mouth, both now and in the future, is to make an appointment at our Cheshunt dental practice for them. Appointments at The Lodge Dental Suite can be made by calling us on 01992 643388. We look forward to seeing you and your family!