This is a product review and yes, teeth were cleaned
In my teens I had a dentist I loved. I went for my regular check ups and never needed any major work done. Until the day he announced “you have beautiful looking teeth Melinda but they’re not very strong. Chances are when you fall pregnant one day you’ll probably lose all of them.” I didn’t like him so much afterwards. In fact I didn’t like the idea of dentists full stop.
And so started my catch 22. I would only wait for a tooth ache to start and then make an appointment, which of course ended in root canal treatment, fillings, removal of teeth, etc. And so I’ve made a pledge that my children will go to the dentist regularly. They will enjoy their visits because it will always only be a polish and a high five. No child of mine is gonna lose their teeth unless it’s to the tooth fairy.
I didn’t realise September was Oral Health Awareness Month until Oral-B sent me a power tooth brush and an invite to try it out, which I’ve been doing. I also thought it would make perfect sense to book Emma’s first visit to the dentist during September.
I spoke about the dentist a few days before the appointment and told Emma what was going to happen and about the ‘cool’ things she’ll see. I told her she’d feel like Buzz Lightyear in the dentist chair and have a smile as wide as the ticking crocodile in Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I put all my fears aside and described it as positively as I possibly could.
And the day arrived and off we went to Candice Schwartz, a kiddies dentist in Bryanston. She allowed Emma to ‘try out’ the equipment, sit in the chair while it went upwards and backwards. She even put me in the chair with Emma. My little girl refused point blank to have her teeth polished and instead of holding her down and doing it anyway, Candice reassured me that this was absolutely normal and that we can take it as slowly as Emma needs. The consultation cost R65, took 15 minutes and we’ve booked for another appointment in six months time.
Parents don’t realise the importance of dental care from an early age. I suppose we reckon that if their milk teeth are going to fall out anyway we’ll wait until their real teeth have arrived and then introduce them to the ‘wonderful’ world of dentistry. But of course the earlier we debunk the myth and get them into a routine with brushing, flossing and regular check ups then the dentist needn’t be a traumatic and frightening experience.
Tooth decay affects children all over the world and if left untreated can lead to problems that can interfere with your child’s learning. The good news is that tooth decay and oral diseases can be kept at bay. Sealants, fluoride, brushing correctly and regular visits to the dentist will ensure that your children can look forward to keeping those pearly whites bright and shiny all their lives.
“It is vital to note the importance of a healthy, balanced diet,” explains Dr Hoosen. “Children that eat more sugar have significantly higher levels of tooth decay. The foods you choose to feed your children can affect your child’s general health and that of their teeth and gums. Sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks in general have little if any nutritional value and over time they can take a toll your children’s teeth. When bacteria (plaque) comes into contact with sugar in the mouth, acid is produced, and it’s the acids that begin to attack the enamel on teeth, starting the decay process. This can eventually result in tooth decay.”
Dr Hoosen also points out the importance of regular visits to your dentist. “Regular dental visits can help spot oral health problems early on when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.”
Visiting the dentist does not have to be a dreaded trip, Dr Hoosen provides some tips to ensure your child gets the right care that will ensure that his/her smile stays bright for a lifetime.
Pick a Child-Friendly Dentist
There are paediatric dentists who have additional training and interest in children s’ dental issues. If you don’t have one in your area, look for a dentist whose waiting room, staff attitude and interaction with children tell you it’ll be a good experience. Ask your health care provider for some suggestions if you don’t know where to start.
Visit Ahead of Time
Bring a child in before the time of the appointment to get acquainted with the place. You can also bring a well-behaved 3-year-old with you on your own check-up so they can get used to the idea.
Examine Your Own Attitude About the Dentist
Many parents have some memories of bad dental experiences, and they can sometimes give off negative messages about the dental chair without even knowing it. The parent who can be most positive about the visit should be the one to accompany the child to the dentist.
Respect Those Baby Teeth
Even though your child will lose his or her baby teeth, proper care and treatment, including fillings, sealants and extraction of dead teeth, will help ensure that the jaw and teeth underneath grow well and stay healthy. Be ready for suggestions about care that you didn’t have as options when you were a child. Also remember to ask your dentist about fluoride rinses to help better protect your child’s teeth from decay.
Establish a Routine
Teach children to brush twice a day. Good times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Supervise at least the evening brushing for children under the age of seven.
Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard ones scrape the gums. Change the brush every three months or sooner if it wears out.
Put a timer in the bathroom. Set it for at least two minutes. According to dental recommendations, two minutes is what it takes to get the job done, and children often have difficulty keeping time.
Make sure your child is getting some sort of fluoride. Fluoride is available in toothpastes, mouthwashes and rinses, supplements or in fluoridated tap water.
Avoid sticky and sugary foods and drinks. They can cause decay (cavities).
Ensuring you give your children’s teeth the attention they need day and night is also made easier thanks to the range of Oral-B power toothbrushes. Too many of us believe that brushing manually is good enough, which is not always the case. So take back your family’s power in the fight against oral diseases and switch to an Oral-B power tooth brush. Make sure you join the power revolution this Oral Health Awareness Month.