Oral health in childhood is probably the most important goal that we have in the practice, as this will usually dictate what happens later on with your child’s dental health. Good oral health achieved at an early age through good dental and nutritional habits will be carried on throughout your child’s life into their adult years.
However excellent dental treatment is, it is never as good as the real thing and as a result prevention of oral health problems is our main focus. At the practice we cannot achieve oral health for your child alone, we need YOUR help.
We will help guide you in developing your child’s dental health, but since we will only be seeing your child on average once or twice a year (depending on their dental needs) we have mainly an advisory role. You have the most influence on your child. Bring all your family together to help you achieve oral health for your child.
To achieve this we need a balance between good oral hygiene and diet with correctly positioned teeth and jaws. As we grow, lots of factors can affect how we grow physically, and these in turn can affect other aspects of our body. It has been shown that correct alignment of our teeth and skull can affect the posture and balance of the rest of our body. Through treatments we offer such as Dento-facial orthopaedics combined with conventional orthodontics we can correct any problems that we detect at an early age, allowing normal growth to take over afterwards.
It is always difficult getting your child to adopt a thorough, regular oral hygiene routine, so we recommend that you monitor their brushing up to the age of eight. Also as a parent you have a major influence on their dental health without you having to involve your child directly: their diet.
If from birth you can control your child’s diet to a good, balanced, low sugar diet you will help ensure a healthy future, dentally and physically for your child. We are born with a mild taste preference for sweet or savoury foods. These preferences can be developed and reinforced further by the predominant flavour in your child’s diet. A higher level of sweet foods will encourage your child to prefer sweeter food; savoury tastes will encourage the opposite. A child with a sweet preference is more likely to consume sweeter food, putting their dental health more at risk.
You have the power to dictate their future dental health.
The choice is yours; do you want your children to be pain free not requiring treatment, confident in your own knowledge that they are fully protected with a good diet and dental hygiene routine or do you want them to be fearful of visiting the dentist, experiencing pain, fillings, injections, extractions and all the other treatments that will be required to keep their teeth in one piece?
A lot of parents pass their own fears of visiting the dentist onto their children through the stories they tell and the type of words they use. Some parents use a visit to the dentist as a threat for bad behaviour. Saying phrases such as “don’t worry it wont hurt” to a child who hasn’t experienced dental treatment before will actually make that child wonder why it could hurt.
To aid us in providing us the best dental care for your child we would like you to do the following:
One parent or guardian should attend your child’s appointment. With respect to all the grandparents that we see they cannot be responsible for any decisions related to your child’s dental health. Also information passed from us to you by other people can get distorted.
If possible allow your child to enter the treatment room by themselves. We find we have better cooperation from children if their parents are not in the same room. This allows us to provide their treatment quicker and more effectively. Don’t worry we will keep you informed of their progress.
Bring all dental hygiene products that your child uses to their annual examination. This allows us to advise you on any other products that may be useful, or changes to their current products.
When your child approaches 8 years old we like to take a panoramic x-ray of your child’s teeth and jaws. This procedure is recommended by all dental hospitals and departments because at this age all developing adult teeth will be visible in the jaw underneath the baby teeth.It allows us to see if any teeth are missing or could be growing in the wrong direction. This information will allow us to develop a proper plan for your child’s tooth and jaw development.