Looking after little nippers

At Bruntsfield Dental, we know how important it is to lavish tiny teeth with plenty of care and attention so they continue to stay as healthy as when they first appeared. It’s a good idea to bring your youngsters to see us as soon as their mini milk teeth begin to peep through. At this stage, despite there not being a whole mouthful of pearly whites for us to have a look at, a visit will still help your child to get to know their dentist and get used to the practice environment. Also, the earlier they meet us, the sooner we can help prevent decay and identify any oral health problems.

When your little one is ready for their first visit, try to help the fledgling patient feel relaxed by making the whole experience a fun one. This will stop them worrying about visiting the dentist and may prevent the development of dental phobias in the future.

As well as regular visits to the dentist, you also need to take care of young teeth at home to ensure they stay decay free.

Tiny toothy tips
  • Get in the brushing habit as soon as those titchy teeth appear in your baby’s gums, usually at around six months, and use a fluoride toothpaste as this can help prevent decay. When they are below three, just use a smear of paste and when aged three to six, progress to a pea-sized blob.
  • Brush your children’s teeth for around two minutes twice a day. You can use a timer to make it more fun – there are plenty of child-friendly toothy timers available to encourage longer brushing times.
  • Supervise their tooth brushing until they are around seven or eight, or older if possible, to make sure they are cleaning their teeth properly.
  • When teeth start to touch each other introduce the art of flossing to help keep any narrow gaps nice and clean.
Protective measures

When your child’s permanent teeth start to make an appearance (usually around six or seven years of age), their dentist or hygienist can apply fissure sealants to protect teeth from decay. This sealant is a plastic coating that covers the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to stop germs and bits of food getting stuck in all those fiddly grooves.

Fluoride varnishes can also be applied – these contain high levels of fluoride which will strengthen enamel, making teeth more resistant to decay.

Diet dos and don’ts

Feel free to fill your child’s diet with raw veg and fruit. Carrot sticks and bananas are a healthy choice, but avoid dried fruit as this is packed full of sugar and can get stuck in teeth.
Also, limit the amount of snacking that your child gets up to, as this can prolong the length of time that harmful acids are in contact with their teeth.

Sugar laden fizzy drinks should be off limits for little ones and even the sugar-free versions contain acids that can erode the surface of teeth. Offer plain water or milk instead, and watch natural fruit juice – it may provide one of their five a day, but it also contains sugar, so make it an occasional drink that’s restricted to mealtimes.

We welcome young ones with open arms because we know the sooner we start keeping an eye on their teeth and teaching oral health care tips, the happier and healthier their mouths will be, throughout childhood and beyond….