Infants and small children are unable to perform meticulous oral hygiene measures with the help of tooth brushing and flossing teeth on their own. Children have limited physical and mental capabilities and they always require guidance and motivation from their parents, guardians and siblings in every walk of life. Parents should make sure to book a dental consultation visit for their children as soon as the eruption of first tooth in the mouth or at least after their first birthday. Child’s first dental health care consultation visit is of utmost importance as it involves the introduction of infants or child to dental office environment and first step towards his/her acclimatization towards dental treatment procedures in the future. The first dental visit should be calm, cool and friendly in order to prevent the development of dental phobia in child’s mind.
Child’s first dental visit and subsequent visits are not only targeted towards his/her motivation towards the dental treatment but these consultation appointments are also meant for parents’ education, guidance, motivation and anticipatory counseling towards the establishment of a dental home. A dental home establishment focuses upon the parents and siblings to understand the needs and the supervision their child requires in order to maintain optimum dental and oral health. It is highly recommended to assist the child in proper brushing technique with the help of prescribed fluoride tooth paste for at least 2-3 minutes until he/she celebrates his/her 8th birthday.
Rotten teeth are the primary cause for a trip to hospital for under-nines. Nearly 26,000 children between five and nine needed hospital treatment in 2013-14, up 14 per cent since 2010-11.
In its recommendations to stop the rot, the RCS advised parents: ‘Brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice a day and supervise children’s tooth-brushing until they are at least eight years old.’
Safety: Parents should supervise children brushing their teeth until at least the age of eight, according to dental experts at the Royal Society of Surgeons (file photo)
‘Some people are having to wait over six months to access that service, some even up to a year in one particular centre. During that time that child will be in pain, suffering and perhaps having repeated antibiotics. All of this is unacceptable.’