Your local Brite Dental clinics are happy to be part of the Childsmile programme for Scotland. Childsmile was created in 2008 in partnership with various dental practices, nurseries and schools nationwide and as a result, there have been significant improvements in child oral health in Scotland (we used to have really bad child dental health).
The core of the programme was to create access for families who would not otherwise have access to dental services for their young children, especially those in areas with poor child dental care. The programme helps parents or carers to understand the importance of baby teeth in the development of a child's adult teeth. It also helps adults understand how to look after their toddlers with regards to oral health. Advice for parents includes:
tooth brushing instructions
There is also annual access for children to free dental check-ups and also any treatments that may be required. A key part of the programme is in the prevention of dental decay and the main aspect of this within the programme is through the twice yearly applications of a fluoride varnish and also through the application of fissure sealants.
We hope that through the programme we can see the children through their dental care and continue with them into their adulthood reducing the incidence of any dental disease.
Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste should be started as soon as the first milk tooth appears. This will usually be at six months but it can be slightly earlier or later. It is important that a toothpaste that contains fluoride is used because it will prevent tooth decay.
If brushing is supervised, children can use the family toothpaste. It should have between 1,350 and 1,500ppm of fluoride. Brushing should be supervised up to the age of seven.
Children aged six years and below who have no tooth decay can use a toothpaste with less fluoride. However, it should have no less than 1,000pm of fluoride. The quantity of fluoride is always indicated on the pack. You may also ask your dentist to recommend a brand.
Before they reach three years, children should brush their teeth with just a smear of toothpaste. Those aged three to six years need a pea-sized blob. This information is also indicated on the pack and your dentist can also provide guidance about the right quantity.
Brushing should be done for at least two minutes twice a day; just before they go to bed and in the morning.
Children should be encouraged to spit out excess toothpaste as they brush their teeth but they should not rinse with a lot of water. Doing so will wash out most of the fluoride and reduce the benefit of using a toothpaste that contains the right quantity of fluoride.
Brushing should be supervised until a child reaches the age of seven or eight years. You can either brush their teeth yourself or supervise them as they do it. Even when they are seven or eight, it is recommended to supervise them time and again to ensure they are doing it correctly and for the recommended time of at least two minutes.
Help your child to brush their teeth properly by guiding their hand so that they know the right movements to use. Do this using a mirror so that they can see where the brush is cleaning as it is moved all around the mouth.
Make it fun to brush the teeth by using a brush with a cartoon character they like or doing it using a timer. You can also get an electric toothbrush made especially for children.
Discourage children from running around with a toothbrush in their mouth. They may hit it against something and have an accident.
The first dental visit should be arranged as soon as the first milk teeth come through. This makes a child familiar with the environment and the dentist. If there are any problems such as decay or teeth that are not forming properly, they will be caught and corrected early. Preventative care is important and much easier on a child than going in when there is a problem.
Make a trip to the dentist fun. This way, a child will not get anxious every time they need to go and see the dentist. There are no charges for NHS dental care.