Introduce your children early to good dental health.
Children should have a professional oral health check by the time they turn two and there are a number of things parents and carers can do to help make the process as simple as possible.
Tips for positive dental visits
- Take your child with you when you visit a dental clinic so that they can see what happens.
- Talk about dental visits being part of regular routines that help to keep people healthy.
- Make appointments early in the day so your child is not tired.
- Arrive a little before the appointment time to let your child become familiar with the new surroundings.
- During the dental visit, let the oral health professional have your child’s full attention.
- It is not necessary to bribe children to see an oral health professional. Be positive about dental visits and highlight the new, interesting and fun aspects of visiting the dental clinic.
Frequency of check-ups for children
Everyone has different oral health needs and risk levels which determine how often they should have a check-up. Talk with your oral health professional about how often your child needs a check-up.
Keeping children’s teeth healthy
Tips for keeping children’s teeth healthy include:
- Help your child to brush their teeth until they are about seven or eight years old. Brush twice a day; in the morning and before bed.
- When children start brushing their own teeth, check to see that they have removed all of the plaque (build-up on teeth).
- Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods and keep healthy snacks easily available.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks, and highly processed foods, especially between meals.
- Offer tap water regularly.
- Look in your child’s mouth often to check for any early signs of tooth decay.
Oral health professionals who may perform oral health checks for children include:
- oral health therapists
- dental therapists
- dental hygienists.
Other professionals who might perform oral health checks for very young children include:
- maternal and child health nurses
- general practitioners
- practice nurses.
These professionals will refer your child to an oral health professional if necessary.