Child dental care

Child dental care

Your baby will experience many firsts: first tooth, first words, first steps, first birthday – and inevitably, the first dental visit. The Dental House shares advice on the importance of your child’s dental care and how to handle this milestone.

Parents are children’s first teachers in life and therefore play a significant role in their oral and overall health. It is recommended that all children first visit a dentist at the age of one year.

These visits could prove especially beneficial for parents, who learn about nutrition and growth, as well as the development of the children and their teeth. Visiting the dentist helps to spot the early signs of decay and cavities in baby teeth.

It also helps to put a major dent in childhood oral disease, which affects an estimated 2,5 million children nationwide and often results in lifelong problems that are painful, expensive and not just limited to the mouth.

For parents to become familiar with their baby’s dental and oral milestones, a child should have their first dental visit at age 1 or within six months of the eruption of the first tooth.

Many first visits are nothing more than introductory icebreakers to acquaint you and your child with the dentist and the practice. The visit does not just involve your child – as a parent you also participate in the appointment, typically by holding your child on your lap in the dental chair while the dentist takes a look inside your child’s mouth.

Dr Annely Bonnet

Appointments should be scheduled early in the day, when your child is alert and fresh. Patience and calmness on the part of the parent and reassuring communication with your child is very important in these instances.

The dentist should be able to answer any questions you have and try to make you and your child feel comfortable throughout the visit. The entire dental team should provide a relaxed and welcoming environment for your child. The dentist will spend time discussing proper eating and tooth-care habits.

Dietary factors, especially frequent and long-term exposure to liquids like sugary drinks/ soda, milk, formula and juice at nap-time or night are critical in the development of early childhood decay.

From the age of four years, children may be fussy and uncooperative. Talk to your child about what to expect, and build excitement as well as understanding about the upcoming visit. Ensure your child of your moral support and positive presence. This will empower a child to a lifetime of positive dental experiences.

There’s a common misconception that they’re just baby teeth, and they aren’t important. This is not true! Healthy teeth in early childhood can provide a positive self-image and improve your child’s quality of life, and thus provide the foundation for a lifetime of stress-free dental visits. Dr Annely Bonnet qualified as a dentist at the University of Pretoria and has served as a general dentist in Krugersdorp for the past 25 years.

Details: Contact The Dental House on 011 954 2460 or visit them at 76 Shannon Road, Noordheuwel, Krugersdorp.


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