1400 hours – this is the average length of time children spend wearing their school shoes every year. That’s a crazy amount of time when you think about it.
From walking around the classroom to climbing the monkey bars, from playing tiggy on the playground to skipping during sport, children are constantly on their feet. So how can you ensure your child’s school shoes will go the distance?
When shopping, take your children with you!
Yes, they will probably complain and you might need to bribe them with donuts after, but it’s so important they actually try the shoes on and walk around in them.
Have a professional check that the shoes are the right fit.
Often kids will say, “They are fine,” simply because they want to go home (or get a donut) when really they aren’t quite right. Get a second opinion in the shops to check.
Plan to Upgrade Mid-Year
Many parents go up a size when choosing school shoes. But the extra room can cause callouses, blisters and damaged toenails. Instead, it’s preferable to budget to purchase another pair half way through the year and check at the end of each term to make sure the shoes still fit.
Bad habits. We all have them. And they can be a nightmare to break. It can be even trickier to convince your kids to break them. But, as parents, this is part of our unspoken job description. Here is how we can break bad habits in kids.
So whether it’s your toddler biting, your preschooler hitting, your school-aged child swearing or your tween/teen lying, here’s how you can get them to break the bad habit.
Lead by example
Before you try to tackle a bad habit, make sure you’re not guilty of doing the same thing. It’s hard to break your child’s swearing habit when you’re constantly dropping the F-bomb at the dinner table (guilty).
Find a substitute
Whenever the frustration, the stress or the fear that is causing the bad habit hits, work with your child to find an alternative way to handle it. Taking deep breaths, cuddling a teddy, or using a different (not sweary) word are substitutes that might help.
Be persistent (and patient)
Offer plenty of support and encouragement. Even great kids develop bad habits and this shouldn’t be something they feel shamed or stressed about. Add little rewards to remind them that they are going great and you are proud of them.
Just looking at our kids or seeing an old photo of when we were young is evidence enough that parents pass down many traits to their children. Children’s genetic makeup is a combination of both their biological mother and father. Traits such as eye colour and hair colour can be passed down from parents to children, so does that mean that ‘bad teeth’ can be hereditary as well?
This question depends mainly on your definition of ‘bad teeth’. Most true genetic conditions of the mouth are rare.
Some of the more common conditions include:
Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate
Clefting, the incomplete fusion of the lip and/or palate, can appear alone or as part of a hereditary syndrome. Family history of clefting increases the chances of inheriting the disorder.
An inherited disorder, resulting in the defective formation of tooth enamel, the hard outer surface of the tooth. The disease affects both baby and adult teeth and because of thin and soft enamel teeth are yellow and easily damaged.
An inherited disorder, resulting in defective formation of tooth dentine. In this condition, teeth are discolored (blue-gray or yellow–brown) and transparent. Both baby and adult teeth are damaged. They are weaker, easy to damage and prone to falling out.
Anodontia, also called congenitally missing teeth, is a hereditary condition in which one or more adult teeth do not develop, though baby teeth usually erupt. Anodontia may involve the absence of all (total anodontia) or only some (hypodontia) teeth. Cases of hypodontia/oligodontia may or may not be associated with various syndromes such as hypohydrotic ectodermal dysplasia, cleft of the lip or palate etc.
All of these conditions can be identified early in life and require varying degrees of treatment.
If by ‘bad teeth’ you are referring to tooth decay or gum disease there is some evidence that shows certain individuals have a greater genetic susceptibility to contracting these diseases.
However, recent research has shown that overwhelmingly it is the child’s environment and not genetics that plays the most important role in whether or not the child will experience these diseases. If your child has a low sugar diet, has excellent oral hygiene and is constantly well hydrated (to optimize saliva) they will be at very low risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease during their life. Of course, having regular dental checks is also paramount so that potential problems can be prevented or treated early.
How to keep your kids teeth healthy:
Limit their intake of sugary food and drink.
Help them with their brushing and make sure they brush for two minutes morning and night.
Starting your child with regular dental visits early will give them the best chance of having good teeth for life. While baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth, baby teeth have many important roles for growth and development. It is therefore just as necessary to keep these baby teeth healthy until they naturally become loose and fall out.
Your child may have their baby teeth from 6 months of age up until around 12 years of age, so there are many years in between to care for their teeth and set up good dental care habits!
Firstly, baby teeth allow for normal speech, eating, chewing, and smiling. The baby teeth also maintain the space for the replacement adult teeth and help guide normal jaw growth. If baby teeth are lost early due to decay, the other teeth can move into the space and may lead to a problem with the adult teeth becoming crooked and crowding – which might mean braces or more treatment in the future.
What if baby teeth develop decay?
If a baby tooth develops a large area of decay, due to their small size and relatively large nerves, the decay can very quickly. Decay can involve the nerve in the tooth, leading to pain and likely leading to needing the tooth taken out early. This is never a nice experience for you, your child, or your dentist! In extreme cases, decay can lead to a large spreading infection. This may require a hospital stay, general anaesthetic, and can even be life-threatening.
Additionally, the higher levels of bacteria in your child’s mouth if they have active dental decay in baby teeth will be present in their mouth and can then affect the growing adult tooth. This puts the adult teeth at higher risk of developing cavities as well. If an infected baby tooth has had a large infection from dental decay, this can damage the developing adult tooth.
In some special circumstances, a child might not grow a replacement adult tooth at all, and then it is most important to care for the baby tooth!
How can decay on baby teeth be prevented?
Finally, starting prevention early will be your child’s best defence against decay. Put them at ease about (or even look forward to!) dental visits. Regular early dental visits where we count and clean your child’s teeth and teeth them about cleaning and caring for their teeth are great positive experiences.
An early dental visit once your child’s teeth are coming through or around 2 years of age allows us to familiarise them with the dental environment. We can also make recommendations for helping care for their teeth at home, which has benefits over their lifetime.
While they may not be there forever, they play an important role in growth, development, and positive dental experiences.
Does your child need some tooth-brushing tips, or are you simply looking for a family-friendly dentist? Give the team at Blomberg Dental a call today.
How often should kids see the dentist? For the vast majority of kids having the teeth checked and professionally cleaned every six months is ideal. This gives the dentist a chance to check the level of oral hygiene and motivate when needed, assess the risk of decay and prevent when required, and monitor the growth of the face and the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth.
In dentistry prevention is paramount, therefore children that have regular checks generally have far fewer dental problems. Developing a good relationship with a family dentist is something that will benefit them for their entire lives.
At what age do the baby teeth start to fall out?
Most often it’s the lower front teeth that will be lost first and that usually occurs around six years of age. However, losing the first tooth any time from four and a half to seven and a half years old is not abnormal. Around the same time it is likely that the child will have their first adult molars erupt at the very back of the mouth. They are essentially teething again and so if they have a fever or are just not themselves this may be the cause.
At what age should my child have all their adult teeth?
Again this can be quite variable but in most cases it is between the ages of 12 and 14. We often refer to this time as the ugly duckling stage because having adult sized teeth in a child sized head looks out of proportion. Around this age is often a good time to start orthodontic treatment and the family dentist can support this if required.
How does a dentist appointment for children differ to an appointment for adults?
In a lot of ways the appointments can be very similar. We talk and build trust at the start, look at the teeth and gums and give advice on how to keep things healthy, and prevent small problems from growing into big ones. The main difference is the topics of conversation.
My child is having some issues with his development, but I’m not sure whether to see a Speech Pathologist or an Occupational Therapist. What does a speech pathologist do, and what is the difference between the two?
Speech-Language Pathologists help kids (and adults) with all aspects of communication, as well as swallowing/feeding. An SLP might be able to assist if you are concerned about how well your child is talking, how they interact with other children, learning to read and write, or eating skills.
An Occupational Therapist’s (OTs) role is to assist children who need support to do daily activities – this often is on the shape of fine motor skills for dressing or writing, as well as assistance with toileting or self help skills. ATs also assist children who have difficulties with processing different sensory information. Quite often children with developmental difficulties need input from both SLPs and OTs.