Visit your dentist
First and foremost, you’ll need to get yourself a regular dentist who’s confident with young sets of teeth. Kids dental in Bentleigh and other suburbs across Melbourne is incredibly easy to source, with many clinics being highly accommodating towards younger families. Quality dentists are determined to keep comprehensive dental records for return patients, which is fantastic for three reasons. Firstly, having a regular family dentist will make organising your biannual trips so much easier! Not only will you receive reminders of your next check-ups, but you’ll also have an invested medical professional who’s guaranteed to provide you with exceptional service on every visit.
Secondly, it’s rather likely that a lot of us will luckily be covered by Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), and keeping all of that information with the one clinic will definitely keep making claims a simple process. And finally, if you manage to find yourself a dental clinic which provides a substantial selection of services for young patients, then chances are your child will be taken care of for the entirety of their young adult life. From their very first cavity to their first wisdom tooth and perhaps even their first set of braces, your dentist will be there!
Instill good habits
Kids learn by watching, so it’s vital that you practice what you preach when it comes to dental care. This means regularly flossing, brushing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash, as these three acts are your best defences against plaque and tooth decay. It’s imperative that your child develops a consistent dental hygiene schedule, and that they learn how to properly clean their teeth independently, as well as when they should floss. Most dentists recommend flossing two to three times a week, or whenever your teeth feel ‘fuzzy’, as that fuzziness is indicative of plaque build-up. Teach your kids how to recognise this feeling and the very simple steps they can to eradicate any potentially harmful bacteria. You’ll be surprised to hear that dental care for younger kids starts well before teeth are even fully developed, and that even toothless newborns need protection against plaque and gum disease!
It’s no secret that the foods we consume can have a huge impact on our overall dental health. And let’s be honest, it’s unreasonable to expect our kids to abandon their favourite sugary snacks just for the sake of keeping their teeth and gums strong and healthy. The least we can do is teach them exactly how consuming sugar and acidic foods can cause plaque build-up, and how to combat this plaque build-up through conscientious consumption. Be sure that good dental practices become a fixed part of their daily self-care routine. And make sure they understand that on ‘high-sugar days’, they will need to show their pearly whites some extra TLC to balance out their indulgence. Finally, it’s also worthwhile teaching them what foods can actually improve their dental and oral health naturally.
Taking care of your teeth is a lifelong responsibility that needs to be introduced to toddlers as soon as they start to gain independence. Most kids don’t brush their teeth thoroughly, usually because they don’t know to the full extent of the matter just how important our dental health is.