First dental visit
Your child’s first visit to the dentist can be a daunting experience, but one thing is for sure it will set the stage for how your child feels about future visits.
Today I had the privilege of chatting to some kindergartners, here at Tewantin Community Kindergarten and I was so impressed that I wanted to share some of my thoughts about my/our experience and how important a child’s first dental visit is.
Over the past few years, ( more than I care to remember!) i have chatted to pre-school and school age children, and ladies and gentlemen, their grasp on good and bad, and their articulation is simply amazing. They absorb information from their environment and then apply that, to their own life and rules about what is good and bad, and whether they will or they wont participate.
Today emphasized what mixed messages we send as health care professionals, across the board!!
Good foods and bad foods.
We took some time to explore what was a good food and what wasn’t so good, or sometimes foods as we called them. My focus is dental, but I am very aware that these young people, were concerned about several things that were bad for them. Chemicals, additives, salt….. and the list could have gone on!
We try very hard in the dental profession, to offer an alternative when we say this is a food that is full of sugar. So today we had some good lollies,and some lollies, that although they carry the word natural in the title, are loaded with sugar.The good lollies were sugar free and both sit side by side in the aisle in Woolworths.
Cheese and crackers are a good snack, but some of the children were concerned about the salt, and some about the chemicals contained in some products.
As a parent and a dental clinician, let me give you a quick heads up on what we consider to be good practice for optimum dental health.
Top tips for children’s diets to maintain dental health
Sticky foods will linger so sticky snakes,etc will hang around and have poor oral clearance times
Sugar free alternatives are ideal, research for yourself aspartame, and chemical sugar substitutes, some of the plant based alternatives may sit better for some people.
Check food labels for the …ose words…..glucose, fructose sucrose and the higher up the food label the more the product contains, these sugars are readily broken down in the mouth.
Watch for ketchup and yogurts, keeping these things as sometimes foods, and to mealtimes.
Brushing and home care
Brushing should be done twice a day, once in the morning and before bed. The last one at night is important as the salivary flow is decreased and the acid attack will continue all night.
If your child has had a cavity please use a fluoride toothpaste this will help strengthen the teeth.
Things that help us at the first appointment
If possible please try to make your appointment at a time that your child is happy.
In general, not through nap time and where possible not after a tiring day at school, making school holidays ideal.
When our mouths are open we produce more saliva, we think dinners coming!! If we are hungry the mouth will turn into a pool!! this makes life difficult for us all
Here at BKP we run childrens clinics through the school holidays, where we have cartoons and competitions for the children to play.
The tooth fairy
In the discussion today some children had experience with the tooth fairy, and some had yet to meet her. As with all things nature there can be a wide age difference for children losing their first tooth The average age is around six, but we wouldn’t be concerned if it was as early as four, or as late as eight. Ask the dentist or hygienist if you have any questions about tooth eruption