Oral Health for Toddlers
Make sure your child….
• Goes to the dentist by aged one – then visit every six months
• Brushes their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste – you can use try using star charts to remind and encourage your child
• Is supervised and helped with brushing until they are about seven
• Uses a pea sized blob of toothpaste
• Uses the ‘spit don’t rinse’ rule to keep the fluoride on the teeth as long as possible
• Brushes for two minutes – you can use timers or play songs to help keep to time. Try BrushDJ
• Has a lower sugar ‘tooth friendly’ diet – there is information on healthy eating here
• Mostly drinks tap water or milk -using an open cup not a bottle or a beaker with a valve
• Always brushes teeth before bed
• Sees their carers taking care of their teeth too!
The best way to avoid worries about the dentist is for your little one to start them visiting with you when they are tiny. However young children can become worried and scared by new and strange experiences.
There are different people, sounds, and smells at the dentist and some children will worry about this.
It is so important that children are seen by a dentist that helping them overcome their worry is essential
There are many things you can do to help to reassure your child;
- Let your dentist know – dentists are now very sensitive to how scary some children find their appointments and have techniques to help
- If your Dental team are not sensitive about your child’s feelings - consider registering with a different practice
- Talk about what will happen at the dentist – talk about the people, noises and smells – there are a lot of child friendly books about visiting the dentist – ask at your local library
- Make believe going to the dentist – you or a favourite toy can be the patient!
- Make sure you talk positively about visiting the dentist
- If you have your own fears about the dentist try and hide them from your child. Now might be a good time to get some help with your own anxiety.
- Help your child use relaxation techniques. There are a lot available on the internet – you can find one example here
- Plan a treat after the dentist – like a trip to the park or watching a favourite film
If you feel that your child’s worry about the dentist is really troubling them and makes attending dental appointments almost impossible call ‘JustOneNumber’ on contact details below to discuss what you might do next
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum. CLICK HERE