Almost every day we see adult patients that are extremely scared of dentists, and most of the time it was due to a bad experience as a child. It is, therefore, our vision to make the dental experience as positive as possible for all the children we see.
Most of the time when a child is experiencing problems with primary teeth, many parents feel that their kid’s teeth should be taken out instead of being saved, but primary teeth have an important purpose, and removing them prematurely can cause a lot of problems.
Primary teeth encourage the normal development of jaw bones and muscles and ensure that there is space for the permanent teeth to grow into. They also help guide those teeth into position. The healthier your child’s baby teeth are, the stronger their permanent teeth will be!
Fortunately, when necessary, a child tooth extraction is usually a simple procedure. Kids require much less anaesthetic than adults and usually have very little to no discomfort during their procedures. They often are more excited about the Tooth Fairy coming and don’t worry about possible dental pain, but in saying that, other options should be considered before extraction.
Tips on how to protect their teeth at home:
- Before teeth erupt, clean gums with a clean, damp cloth.
- Brush teeth with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Introduce a pea-sized dab of fluoridated toothpaste after 2 years of age, once the child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
- Prevent baby bottle tooth decay: Don’t give children a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid at bedtime or when putting down to nap.
- Limit the time your child has a bottle. Your child should empty a bottle in 5 to 6 minutes or less.
- Help your child brush his or her own teeth until 6 years of age. Allow the child to watch you brush, and follow the same brushing pattern to minimize missed spots.
- Avoid foods and treats that increase tooth decay: hard or sticky candies, fruit leather, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit rather than juice; the fibre in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean, whereas juice just exposes the teeth to sugar.
Kids hygiene program:
At Corne Smith Dentistry we offer a hygiene program for all the children at the practice. Oral hygiene instructions and cleanings are done by our oral hygienist. At these visits, we spend the time to ensure that your child can brush with the correct technique. Six monthly appointments are scheduled and by using dental photos of the previous visit compared to the current visit we try to encourage and empower them to improve their oral hygiene techniques every time.
To schedule your child’s oral hygiene appointment or even their first dental visit, contact Corne Smith Dentistry, Claremont Cape Town for a comfortable and relaxed dental experience.