Oral Health Care For Kids Whilst They Are Off School
Advice from our Addlestone dental team on how to look after your children’s teeth during ‘lockdown’
The current ‘lockdown’ situation is a challenging one for most of us and for any number of different reasons.
Those of us who have children that are currently off school will have their own set of challenges, both in trying to keep them safe as well as entertained.
Like everyone else, we are waiting for signs that the lockdown might be at least eased, but it is important that this is done at the right time and that may mean that our children may not return to school until the new school year at the earliest.
Change of routines
Lots of things will have changed in our lives, and perhaps more importantly, our children’s lives. In general, kids like some form of routine that they can structure their day around. This includes having certain regular times that they clean their teeth. Under normal circumstances, this would probably be done before they left for school in the morning. As they won’t be doing this presently, this creates a risk that their morning brushing at least may be missed altogether.
Some people might believe that the morning brushing is not that important as we haven’t eaten anything whilst asleep. The fact though is that bacteria accumulate whilst we are asleep and can contribute to both tooth decay and gum disease. The morning brushing is equally important as your regular night time one.
You may need to try to instigate a new routine in the morning. You will know your children better than us and for some, that might mean getting them to brush before they do anything else and become distracted. For others, it might be better to let them wake up a bit and avoid any arguments early in the day. The important thing is to stick to whatever new routine you develop that works for your family.
Take time with younger children
Many of us live busy lives (usually), and, despite advice to supervise younger children when they brush their teeth, some of us probably don’t do this as often as we should. If you are currently not working, this provides an excellent opportunity to spend some time supervising your children when they brush their teeth and helping them to improve the way that they do it. Before you head to the bathroom with them though, do spend a little time researching how you should brush your teeth correctly. Many of us just do it the way we were taught by our parents. Most of us could improve this method and there are many excellent and reputable videos available that you can watch. By doing so, you might learn a thing or two yourself and help to improve your own oral health as well as that of your children.
Have fun and educate your kids
Thorough dental care is sometimes overlooked when it comes to education. Things have improved from years ago but many of us still have only a very basic knowledge of why teeth decay, for example. Whilst there is no need to get into technical detail, especially with younger children; using videos, quizzes and games could help them to understand why they should look after their teeth and provide some entertainment at the same time.
Too many of us, perhaps, arrive at adulthood with teeth in worse condition than they should be. With suitable, gentle early years oral health education, there is a chance that this could be avoided. Good advice learned early on also often means that it will be maintained throughout the person’s lifetime.
The lockdown treatment situation
As was the case when we posted our last Synergy Clinic blog, we are still closed for face to face appointments with our Addlestone patients. At present, we don’t know when this restriction will be lifted and even then, what treatments we will be able to perform. Whilst urgent treatment will involve you being transferred to an emergency dental referral centre, it is better to avoid these if at all possible. The best way that you can do this is to take care of yours and your children’s teeth as well as you can. Regular brushing, flossing and avoiding eating or drinking too many sugary foods and drinks will definitely help.
If you are unfortunate enough to require dental assistance, you can still call the Synergy Clinic on 01932 856541 where you will be offered advice on what to do next.
Hopefully, we will be able to see you all again soon and things will get back to something like normal. Until then, please take care and look after yourselves and your teeth and gums.