How do you know it’s time to ditch the tooth fairy and visit the dentist? Here are some top tips from dentist, Dr Saul Konviser.
Too early to start?
Babies can visit the dentist as soon their first tooth appears. All children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. Then they should have a check up every six months. In the UK, there is a useful NHS Dentist finder. Check if there is a similar service where you live.
Visiting the dentist is an opportunity to talk about any dental health questions, like how to look after children’s teeth, or the importance of eating well to save your teeth.
It’s not fun, but it has to be done
Mum and dad and the best role models for children, especially with something like visiting the doctor or the dentist. A positive attitude makes all the difference. Many dentists give stickers and balloons at the end of the visit. Parents can plan a trip to the park after and make the whole experience an enjoyable one.
Poor dental health can affect general health. Children with toothache or who need treatment might get infections or have problems with eating, sleeping and socialising.
Look after your teeth
The best drink for children’s teeth is water. This is a tooth friendly drink. Fizzy drinks are not! The more children have sugary sweets and drinks the more their teeth are under attack.
Brush teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Use the right fluoride toothpaste for your age. When children finish brushing they should spit but not rinse. This ensures the fluoride is not washed off the teeth.
All of these tips will help children keep their teeth healthy and strong!
Dr Saul Konviser is very interested in treating patients that suffer from dental anxiety. His passion is Sports Dentistry, helping both amateur and professional sportspeople understand the importance of good oral health on their sporting performance. Away from my clinical practice, he is involved with a number of community oral health programmes in the UK and South Africa as a Trustee of the charity Dental Wellness Trust. Dr Saul also enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters and running the occasional marathon.