Poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath and the social ostracising of a child. People are not usually aware that they have bad breath and it is not something that one can mention, even to a friend, without causing offence.
Once anyone is conscious that their breath may smell they become very aware of how they speak and how close they are standing to other people. This unhealthy attitude is so easy to avoid by teaching your children good oral hygiene.
Milk teeth are replaced by adult teeth by the time a child is about 8 years old. The final adult teeth, the wisdom teeth, may appear 10 years later, or may only partially erupt from their gums. Good teeth habits need to start early. These basically include brushing teeth, cutting down on sweet foods and visiting the dentist regularly.
Good teeth, or at least well fitting dentures are essential for comfortable speech and eating. Lots of people have come to assume that bright white teeth are the only good teeth – Not so.
Dentist’s visits are no longer the source of fear for children that they were for their parents or grandparents. Dentists are generally pleasant, if over-paid, professionals. They try their hardest to make their surgery pleasant and relaxing, especially for children.
A large percentage of 11 year old children already have fillings in their teeth. These fillings have a life of 5-10 years, so these individuals will be visiting the dentist regularly for life. Some children have no fillings whatsoever, and this is not because their parents are any more successful in teaching dental hygiene. My own daughter is 19, she eats chocolate and sweets like there is no tomorrow, has thin enamel on her back teeth, cleans her teeth somewhat minimally once a day and she still has no fillings! Just lucky.
The orthodontist and dental braces are feared by parents and children alike. The “Jaws” appearance of some braces leads children to fear name-calling and loss of opportunity with the opposite sex. Parents worry about the cost of all that metalwork.
There are many more ortho-dontal options than there ever were just a few years ago. Do your research, find out your options and do your best for your kids’ long-term health.