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Caring for Your Children’s Teeth

Children's dental health

Have you see the news recently about the dangers of sugar and how this is impacting on children’s dental health? It’s big news, so we have pulled together some advice on how to maximise your children’s dental health.

The BBC have recently reported that nearly 26,000 children, aged five to nine, were admitted to hospital in England in 2013-14, up 14% from 2011, with tooth decay. These are scary statistics and with a dental routine, they can be avoided.

Did you know that children’s baby teeth lay the foundation for health for their adult teeth? Dental decay and disease from milk teeth can spread to their adult teeth, so this is a critical time for their dental health. So it’s important to have a good dental health routine that fits in with our busy lives.

Here’s some suggestions:

  • Set a routine – It’s easier to remember to brush when a schedule is established and followed. How about using a chart or an app to help children remember to brush after breakfast and before bedtime? You could consider rewarding them at the end of the month when they have followed this routine.

  • Model good oral health – Children often learn by observing the habits of parents or older siblings, so show children when and how you are brushing. Everyone should use a timer to make sure they brush for a full two minutes.

  • Schedule regular dental visits – Explain the dentist’s role in keeping teeth and gums healthy. Many dentists will allow you to bring children younger than two when you have your check-up to get them used to the dentists. Plus you can ask around other parents to find the most child friendly dentists.

  • Eat nutritious foods – Sweet snacks, fizzy drinks and desserts are appealing to many children, but they can contribute to tooth decay. Make sure children eat the right balance of vegetables, fruits and lean meats. Offer healthy choices for snacks, such as low-fat cheese and yogurt, veggies, almonds, fruits, water or low-sugar beverages. After eating a sugary treat, swish water over the gums and teeth, and spit it out to remove excess sugar particles. The British Dental Health Organisation has recently offered this advice about sugar content in children’s diets.

NHS dentistry is free for all children, so it’s key to take advantage of this essential service.

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