Dental Care for Children
The baby or milk teeth are essential for good growth and development of your child. Baby teeth allow your child to eat well and speak clearly. Baby teeth also have the important function of guiding the growth of the permanent teeth.
Care for baby teeth should begin as soon as they appear. This includes cleaning the teeth after meals. Babies should not be left to fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice as this can lead to rampant decay called ” baby-bottle decay “.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health recommends that the first dental check-up for your child should be done by the first birthday. Your toddler can be brought to our dentist for a simple check-up to make sure the teeth are growing well.
Dental care is best introduced when there is no pain. The first dental visit should be like a visit to a new friend — the dentist.
Importantly, this first visit is for parents to learn the right techniques of taking care of your child’s first teeth. Take the opportunity to clear any doubts you have with the dentist.
Pre-school children can develop tooth decay. It is important to keep baby teeth healthy until the permanent teeth have grown which can be as late as 12 or 13 years.
Early stages of tooth decay do not cause pain. So it is necessary to have regular check-ups to detect cavities caused by decay and get the cavities (holes) repaired — before they cause pain.
If your child is particularly prone to decay, Smile Makers can:
- apply fluoride to make the teeth stronger against decay and
- place sealants to protect the chewing surfaces of the teeth from decay.
If children develop habits likes thumb-sucking , Smile Makers can help them stop – often with just some gentle persuasion ! Prolonged or persistent sucking of thumb, fingers or pacifiers can distort the position of the teeth and even the shape of the jaws.
One of the most common questions parents ask is, “When is the best time for braces?”. It is especially useful to bring children to the dentist for an assessment of the growth of the teeth at ages seven, nine and eleven. At these ages, problems of crowding or development of the jaws can be anticipated and if need be, treated early to avoid more complex problems later. Click to learn about our orthodontic consultation.
All throughout childhood, the importance of daily hygiene and choice of healthy foods can be inculcated in your child so that good habits can be formed — and kept for life.