Children’s Oral Health Care When Off School
This extended break could lead to younger children falling out of their usual routine.
Although there is a possibility that schools may go back before the summer holidays begin, this seems increasingly unlikely.
It can be difficult for parents to keep their children entertained at home and sometimes we have to get creative, and the same applies when it comes to encouraging them to continue to look after their teeth when they are out of their usual routine.
Blue Sky Dental believes that it is important that our Chelmsford patients take time and care to make sure that their children look after their teeth well during this difficult time. Below we offer a few simple suggestions to help you to help them keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Don’t overindulge their sweet tooth
Nearly all kids enjoy eating sweets. This is likely to be even more the case when they are bored of sitting around, unable to play with their friends. Although it is important that we look after our children’s mental well being at this time, perhaps allowing more leeway than usual, it is still important that we don’t allow them to over indulge.
By all means, let them have occassional treats, but do take care to restrict the amount of sugary foods that they eat. You might think that you are helping them to get through the boredom, but sugar has no sympathy and will cause tooth decay at this time, as at any other.
If they are getting bored, try to come up with some creative ideas, based on what you know they like, whether that be mermaids or dragons. Colouring competitions or ‘dress up’ can be fun, and you can join in too. Perhaps use sweets as a reward for these activities rather than allow them to dip into the sweet jar as they wish.
Make sure they clean their teeth
Nearly all of us will be out of our usual routine at the moment. Indeed we may need to make a conscious effort to clean our own teeth if we are currently not working and usually brush our teeth before leaving for work. It is the same for children too. They will be used to brushing their teeth at a particular time and, as far as you possibly can, we recommend keeping this up.
If this is not practical, then develop a new routine that fits around your new reality. Perhaps make a point of making them brush their teeth before they start their play time or school homework. Remember that for younger children especially, it is advisable to supervise them to make sure that they do it correctly both in the morning and last thing at night.
Add your own ‘schooling’
Many children will have work set for them during the lockdown. This may also be a good opportunity to add ‘lessons’ of your own in practical matters. This can also help to fill some of the time that is probably too plentiful at the moment. You can teach them to bake or cook basic meals of course but why not also educate them a little about health matters and include in that, dental care.
There are many dental educational videos available online that are appropriate for children which you could use. You can set them quizzes or competitions too. Remember to make it fun for them and it will help to guide them towards having healthier teeth later on in life.
Our practice and emergency appointments
Following advice from the relevant professional bodies, we have had to take the decision to close our Chelmsford practice for all but emergency dental advice for the time being. Bearing in mind that many dental procedures, such as extractions, for younger children have to be carried out in hospital, it is extra important that you take steps to minimise the risk of tooth decay. Whilst hospitals will be doing all that they can to treat non Covid-19 patients safely, there is obviously an increased risk in that environment and it is best to be able to avoid visits there if at all possible. Please call us for advice.
For adult appointments that have had to be postponed, you will hear from us as soon as we are able to rearrange them. Unfortunately, for the time being, we don’t know when that will be but we will do our best to be open normally as soon as we can.
In the meantime, if you have an orcal care emergency, please call us on 01245 211070 where you will be triaged and offered advice on the next steps to take.
We hope that all patients of Blue Sky Dental stay safe and well. We encourage you to follow the government guidelines surrounding social distancing and other measures and we look forward to seeing you all again in the not too distant future.