Good Habits Start Early

Good Habits Start Early

Visiting a dentist from an early age helps good ongoing oral health.

We are often asked by expectant mothers and those who have just had children, when they should start to bring their child to our Ipswich dental practice. There are no hard and fast rules on this, but our advice is generally to initially bring the child around their first birthday, providing that there are no problems before this.

Although the likelihood of any oral health problems at such a young age is small; if nothing else, it will help the child to become accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice; things which can cause varying levels of anxiety in adults, especially those whose experience of dentists is limited.

Growing up

It is widely thought that a child who has visited a dentist early on, is less likely to be frightened at the prospect of seeing a dentist. As a child grows though, they can still develop fears, sometimes based on stories told to them by other children about their visits.

Although it can be hard, as a parent, to ensure that a wilful child does visit the dentist, it is important not to give in, as, some people would say, you are their parent and not their friend. The reality is that young children seem to be drawn towards sweet tastes and products with high sugar levels. Whilst this may be because they have so much energy to burn off, the problem is that the same sugar will also turn into acids which attack the enamel of their teeth.

Enamel erosion

Once the enamel of the teeth has become eroded, this exposes the layer underneath, known as the dentin layer. This is a softer, more porous layer, and when decay occurs here, the nerves are easily reached and severe toothache can result. No parent likes to see their children in pain, and there is no getting away from the fact that toothache can be extremely painful. Whilst we do offer emergency dental appointments, and will do all that we can to see someone the same day, the fact is that many cases of toothache could have been avoided with a little care.


Whilst children can sometimes seem obstinate and refuse to listen to what parents tell them, they are still at a stage where they are seeking knowledge and seem happy to take advice from non parental adults. This is one of the reasons that we recommend that children see the hygienist at the Foxhall Dental Practice. In addition to any cleaning that may be required, our hygienist, offers education advice to help children (and adults) keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy. This includes not only advice on how to brush correctly, but also to explain why certain foods are bad for the teeth.

If you have a young child that has not seen a dentist for a while, or even at all, why not call the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396 and arrange an appointment for them to have an oral health examination?