Regular, patient care at home and constant vigilance is key to maintaining healthy oral hygiene in children. At the Durdans Dental Clinic, 3 mistakes were cited as commonly made by parents, beginning as early as a few months into their child’s lives.
- Allowing children to sleep with nursing bottles – Milk and liquids containing sugar pool in the upper teeth while the child sleeps, thereby, causing Nursing Bottle Caries (decay).
- Not allowing a child to develop their own brushing habits stunts their ability to comprehend the process in its early stages.
- Not acting immediately upon noticing a problem, such as decay, often worsens the issue.
A child’s incisors begin to emerge at 6 months, after which parents are recommended to watch closely for any discomfort or issues. Symptoms such as tooth sensitivity or pain, swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath or black spots on milky white teeth can be a cause for concern. While sweets can be taken in moderation, children should avoid caramelised ‘sticky’ confections that get wedged in gaps and cause caries (decay).
In contrast to popular belief, dentists will often recommend the best care for milk teeth, viewing extraction as a final resort. Removal of milk teeth earlier than necessary eliminates the natural foundation and space needed to grow aligned adult teeth. Recurring visits once every 3 months to the dentist is recommended to avoid major, potentially painful, orthodontic corrections in a child’s future.
Prevention of dental phobias and promoting the development of healthy dental habits is often at the root of dental mishaps. Dr Ronnibert Rayer, a Dental Surgeon at Durdans Hospital, said “It is important to develop a positive relationship between your child and dental care early in life. Paediatric dentistry is mostly psychological; setting the foundation for the growth of good habits”. Inciting enjoyment in the dental process by using soft brushing technique or flavoured toothpaste nurtures positive adult habits, as opposed to a forceful environment that shows a correlation to future negligence.
The Durdans Dental Clinic focuses on fostering a positive relationship with children; ensuring that a child’s dental experience is supportive while allowing them to receive the dental care they need at an affordable price.