This is the third and final part of our series of articles surrounding the topic of dental health for kids. In this part, we look at visiting the dentist, different types of dental emergencies, and finally we will lay out some tips for helping your kids keep their healthy smiles!
Visiting the Dentist – Part of a Healthy Routine
Put a reminder in your calendar to arrange your child’s dental check up at least once a year. Your dentist can advise you and your family about good oral health practices so you can prevent problems before they arise.
- Bring your child to the dentist not later than their first birthday and ask about when you should introduce fluoride toothpaste.
- Your child should visit the dentist once a year or as often as the dentist recommends.
- Ask your dentist if your child would benefit from dental sealants. These are plastic coatings that are painted on back molar teeth to prevent dental decay.
- Be sure to alert your dentist to any changes you notice in your child’s mouth.
Dental Emergencies – Do you Know What to Do?
Knocks and tumbles are a part of childhood and can result in damage to teeth. To help prepare for such emergencies:
- Ensure your child wears a mouth guard while playing sports. A mouth guard can protect your child’s teeth and mouth from injury and may also reduce the risk of concussion should an accident occur. We recommend mouth guards that are custom made by your dentist because they fit better.
- If a dental emergency does occur, see a dentist as soon as possible. Have your dentist’s day-time phone number and after-hours emergency number readily available so you can contact them right away.
Types of Dental Emergencies:
If a tooth is slightly pushed in or out, use light finger pressure to move the tooth back to its normal position. Do not force the tooth. Use a moist cloth or piece of gauze to hold the tooth in place. See a dentist within 30 minutes.
Rinse your child’s mouth with warm water to clean it. Use floss to remove any food that may be trapped between teeth. You may give your child a painkiller, such as a paediatric sugar free version of paracetamol, for the pain but you must visit your dentist immediately to find out the cause of the toothache.
Broken or Chipped Teeth
See a dentist immediately. Try to find the broken or chipped portion of the tooth and take it with you. Even if that part of the tooth cannot be bonded back to the rest of the tooth, the dentist may be able to use the piece to recreate the appearance of the original tooth.
Injuries to Soft Tissues
These can include tears, cuts or punctures to the cheeks, lips or tongue. Clean the wound immediately with warm water and then go to a hospital or emergency centre for treatment. If there is a cut to the tongue, pull the tongue forward and apply pressure to the area with a clean cloth or with gauze to stop the bleeding.
Healthy Smiles Checklist
By teaching your child how to look after their teeth and by setting a good example with your own oral health, you can help your child develop and maintain a healthy attitude to oral health that will serve a lifetime.
- Encourage healthy food choices and limit sugary snacks
- Make sure your child drinks plenty of water and avoids sweetened or fizzy acidic drinks
- Avoiding sugary snacks and fizzy acidic drinks will help prevent dental decay and dental erosion
- Supervise your child brushing at least twice a day with a pea size amount of adult fluoride toothpaste after 2nd birthday.
- Choose a toothbrush with a small head, soft nylon bristles and show your child how to use it.
- Brush teeth and gums for at least tow minutes to remove plaque effectively.
- Wait at least 1 hour before brushing after eating meals or snacks to allow teeth to re-harden
- Replace your child’s toothbrush every two to three months or more often as needed.
- Have your child’s teeth checked by the dentist once a year, or as often as the dentist recommends, and remember to find out about school dental screenings for your child.
Here at Lyons Financial Services we are delighted to work with DeCare Dental. They provide specialist dental insurance and oral health advice and we thank them for their aid and advice in writing this series of oral health articles.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay user confidentdentalcare