Give Your Child A Healthy Smile For Life
The Smile Centre is, first and foremost, a family dental practice and, from helping you to teach your children the best way to brush their teeth, to dealing with the effects of tooth decay, we aim to help your children to maintain happy, healthy smiles for life.
It’s never too early to start looking after your children’s teeth. First teeth usually appear when your baby is about six months old, but can appear from as early as three months or as late as one year.
Front teeth tend to come through first, followed by second incisors, first molars appear at around 12 months then canines or eye teeth and finally, second molars should come through by the time your toddler is two or three years old.
A Fun First Visit
We want your children to become familiar with the environment and treatment here so, we recommend that you start bringing them along to your appointments from about six months old. When they’re old enough, they can have a practice ride in the dentist’s chair and we hope that, when it’s their turn for real, they’ll feel happy and confident and will never develop a fear of the dentist.
By the time your child reaches six, they will start to lose their milk teeth and permanent teeth will start to emerge. 28 of your child’s permanent teeth should be in place by the time your child is fourteen years old, and between the age of 18 and 25, the last four, wisdom teeth, are likely to make an appearance.
Seven Top Tips To Keep Your Kids Smiling
1. Start a good brushing routine as soon as teeth come through
At first, use toothbrushes and fluoride toothpastes specially designed for babies and toddlers.
Then, as your child becomes more independent, cleaning for two minutes, twice a day, with a pea sized blob of fluoride toothpaste, a little more after the age of seven.
By the time they’re teenagers, looking after their teeth will have become a good habit which will help to maintain their own healthy smile for life.
2. Make friends with your dentist
It’s really worth introducing your child to your dentist as soon as possible, even just bringing them along to your own appointments. Your child will get used to the sights and sounds of the dental practice and, when it’s their turn, they’ll know there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
3. Wean your child off sucking a dummy or thumb
Sucking a dummy of thumb can cause pressure which pushes the teeth forward, which could result in the need for a brace or even the removal of teeth later.
4. Only put water or milk in your baby's bottle
The acid from fruit juices, sugared drinks or even very weak squash can attack your baby's teeth and cause decay.
5. Encourage healthy eating
You’ll find plenty of advice on healthy eating elsewhere but we just want to say that following a healthy diet with minimal added sugar will be good for your children’s teeth too.
6. Use sugar free medicines
Strange to think that something you give your child to make them well could be so bad for their teeth but children’s medicines tend to be very syrupy and difficult to clean off the little bumps and crevices in teeth. Always try to choose a sugar free variant of over the counter medicines and ask your doctor if there is a sugar free option for any medicine she or he prescribes.
7. Protect their teeth from sporting injuries
Children, teenagers and adults alike should wear a gum shield or mouth guard when participating in any contact sport. Off-the-shelf gum shields are adequate but fuller protection is offered by a custom-fit gum shield, available from all good dentists, including The Smile Centre.