We chat with dentist Yasmin Coulthard, who explains the importance of looking after children’s baby teeth—and if dentists really do have a direct line to the Tooth Fairy!
Now, we’re going the extra step and asking dentist Yasmin Coulthard to give us a full examination and clean. She’s got some great advice for your child’s dental health, so make sure you have your toothbrush and floss at the ready!
Stuck On You: How important is the care of children’s baby teeth?
Yasmin: Care of the baby teeth is just as important as care of the adult teeth. Most people don’t realise that the last of your baby teeth are often not lost and replaced by adult teeth until approximately the age of twelve.
If baby teeth are lost earlier than they are meant to be, this can cause issues with crowding and will often lead to the need for orthodontic treatment.
Stuck On You: What are best practices for kids’ dental hygiene between the ages of 0–12 and why? How important is diet and not having too much sugar?
Yasmin: Introduce kids to an age-appropriate toothbrush once the teeth start to come through as a baby. In the bath is always a good place to start and just let them play with it and put it in their mouth. At this age, toothpaste is not required and, up until the age of six to eight years, an adult should still be brushing or assisting with brushing at least once a day
Generally, I suggest introducing toothpaste around the age of two when kids are likely to start resisting having their teeth brushed. There are all sorts of fun flavours that are safe and age-appropriate (sugar- and fluoride-free).
Once a child is old enough to spit out after brushing, then you can choose to change to a toothpaste that contains some fluoride, which is a mineral that helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth (always use the age guides on toothpaste and toothbrushes). Also, good oral hygiene and eating habits are important to establish earlier as it’s always easier to teach good habits than to try and change bad habits.
“Care of the baby teeth is just as important as care of the adult teeth.” — Yasmin Coulthard
Stuck On You: Do you have any tips on how to make dental hygiene fun for kids and instil great brushing and other habits?
Yasmin: Change up the flavour and brand of both toothbrush and toothpaste and even try an electric toothbrush. There are also some great apps out there that help teach, encourage, motivate and engage in dental hygiene.
Stuck On You: What do dentists think of the Tooth Fairy and how should parents use the Tooth Fairy to encourage kids to look after and be proud of their teeth?
Yasmin: Dentists love the Tooth Fairy as she helps to encourage kids to look after their teeth. She wants nice clean healthy teeth and is really happy to come and visit the kids that take pride in, and good care of, their teeth.
Stuck On You: So, does that mean it’s true that dentists do have a direct line to the Tooth Fairy and know what really happens to all those teeth?
Yasmin: Yes, we sure do have a direct line to the tooth fairy and know what happens to all of those teeth … I can’t share my secrets with you though!
Stuck On You: Finally, we’d love to know what you think of the Stuck On You Tooth Fairy Box, the receipts, and how your kids enjoyed them.
Yasmin: My kids loved the Stuck On You Tooth Fairy Boxes and were very excited when they arrived! They loved the designs they had chosen and loved that it is personalised with their names on them.
They were also excited to find the cards inside, and are now both desperate to lose their next tooth each so they can leave it in their box for the Tooth Fairy to visit!
We want to thank Yasmin for her thoughts, insight and great tips about dental hygiene and the Tooth Fairy! Let us know in the comment section below your best ideas to encourage kids to look after their teeth!