This week's Expert Series, we look at Oral Health Care for Kids. This article is contributed by T32 Dental Centre. Learn more about T32 Junior - the paediatric department of T32 Dental Centre.
IMPORTANCE OF GOOD, REGULAR ORAL HEALTH CARE FOR THE CHILD
The responsibility for good oral health care for the child rests with the parents. It is important that parents know the why, how and what to do to help their children achieve, maintain and practice good oral health.
Parents are keen to know why it is so necessary to start their children early on oral health care and to take their children for regular checkups.
*Early Care: Children should be introduced early to dental care in order to prevent problems in the future. Through such practice, the child enjoys the visit to the dentist and will not develop fears that are often seen in adults. It is only when a child is taken to see the dentist when he or she has pain that fears of the dentist arises.
*Regular and early care makes it easier to detect and repair small cavities (holes) before they endanger the life of the tooth. It is easier for the child and it costs less to repair a small cavity.
* Children’s teeth decay much more easily and rapidly than those of adults as they are structurally thinner.
*Regular care allows the dentist to monitor as to whether the child’s teeth are changing on schedule and in proper order. This can present major problems that will cost more to correct later.
* Many children do not practice good oral hygiene habits in spite of their parent’s effort. A child will often pay attention to the suggestion of his friend, the dentist much more than he will to his parents in regard to keeping his teeth clean.
*Due to the nature of the shape of baby teeth, stains and food particles (plague) commonly and rapidly collect on children’s teeth. The child needs the dentist to help him remove them. A clean tooth is less likely to decay.
*During a checkup, the teeth are checked, cleaned and polished, Fluoride gel is applied after the cleaning to further protect and strengthen the teeth.
*Through regular care, a bond and trust is built up between the child and dentist. Such a relationship is so important in children’s dentistry as it prevents fear and the development of management problems.
DENTAL CARE IS NOT EXPENSIVE BUT DENTAL NEGLECT IS.
Dr Lim Swee Teck
FAMS, BDS, MDS (Singapore)
M.Sc (Ohio, USA), Cert. Pedodontics (Ohio, USA)
Dental Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry