Challenges and solutions for looking after your children’s oral health at this difficult time.
Despite the slight changes initiated this week to start the easing of lockdown, the fact is that many of our Woking patients will probably still be spending most of their time at home.
Some will be working from home whilst others will not be able to work because the sector in which they normally do so is not yet allowed to open.
This, on its own, can be challenging enough, but for those of us at home with young children, the lockdown presents additional challenges. In addition to ensuring that they are not overly stressed, are getting a reasonable education and generally looking after their wellbeing, there is also the problem of making sure that their oral care is catered for.
Watch the ‘sugar treats’
It is likely that most of our AJ Dental Group patients who are parents of young children will have noticed an increased demand for sweets and fizzy drinks! The reality is that many young children will be bored, despite our best efforts, and will also have a lot more time on their hands. As many of them will probably know where we hide the sweets, and those that don’t will make demands until we finally relent, there is every likelihood that our children’s sweet consumption will rise during this period of lockdown.
Although we may allow a little more leeway than usual, it is still advisable to try to keep sweet consumption down to a sensible level. At all times, especially now, it is also important that we make sure our children are cleaning their teeth well.
Where young children are concerned, we need to make sure that they are brushing their teeth twice a day, both morning and the last thing before going to bed (with nothing but water afterwards). There are two things that we particularly need to do.
Firstly, their routine is likely to be very different now, and whereas they may have previously brushed their teeth before going to nursery or school, they may be going straight from bed to the TV. Make sure that you find a new regular time for them to brush their teeth in the morning before they settle into their new routine. Secondly, this is a good time to make sure that they are brushing their teeth correctly and for long enough. To do this, we may need to supervise our children when they brush their teeth. Remember, routine dental treatments can’t currently be carried out and a child at home with toothache is not going to be fun for the child or the parents!
Oral health education
Now might be a good time to talk to your children about the importance of looking after their teeth and hopefully they will be more receptive given all the current advice about personal care.
Try using videos and cartoons to help explain why they do need to brush their teeth and that it isn’t just something us parents insist upon to annoy them! A little education at a young age can stay with them through the years and help them to grow up with healthy teeth and gums.
Back to school?
There is some debate about some years returning to school at the start of June. Whether this will happen, no one seems quite sure at present, but it is probably a good time to start thinking about it, especially if your child usually takes a packed lunch. Our store cupboards probably look a little different now and if we were to pack lunch boxes from it, it probably wouldn’t be particularly tooth friendly! Whilst some suitable foods, such as carrot or celery strips, can’t really be bought in advance, others such as nuts and cheese slices can and it would probably pay to prepare for that in advance.
Our Woking dental practice
Although we remain closed and only allowed to provide advice for emergency issues by telephone, we are hoping that this may change in the not too far off future. We will be opening when it is safe to do so and we are putting in the appropriate measures to prepare.
When we reopen, it is likely that not all procedures will be available initially and we will keep our Woking patients advised about this. It is likely that priority will be given to those patients who are in need of treatment for problems such as toothache or broken teeth with routine appointments such as check ups delayed slightly. We will of course try to get things back to normal as soon as we possibly can.
In the meantime, please take care, stay safe and keep reading our blogs for advice and updates on the current situation.
You can contact the AJ Dental Group for emergency advice by calling us on 01483 766355.