Children's Dental Care
LOOKING AFTER YOUR CHILD’S TEETH AT HOME
It is important to start caring for children’s teeth as soon as the teeth appear in the mouth. You can follow some simple steps to avoid tooth decay.
Children should be encouraged to eat healthily to give them the best chance to be healthy adults. Dental decay is a totally preventable disease.
LIMIT SURGAR WITH HEALTHY SNACKS
Everyone has plaque bacteria in their mouth. When plaque bacteria mixes with sugary foods and drinks, acids are produced – this can cause tooth decay.
Every time your child has sugary foods or drinks, they increase their risk of tooth decay. Limit the amount and number of times they consume sugary snacks or drinks each day. Avoid sugar between meals, and especially before your child goes to sleep
Milk and water are the safest drinks for children’s teeth. Safe snacks include cheese, fruit, vegetables, breadsticks, oatcakes, rice cakes, sandwiches or toast, avoiding jam/chocolate spreads etc
It’is useful to know that on the label’s list of ingredients, the higher up the list the sugar is the more there is in the product. Sugar is often hidden so beware of sucrose, glucose, maltose, dextrose etc
SUGAR SMART from change4life is a useful app in helping to make low sugar choices and something the family can participate in helping children become more aware of sugar content in our everyday food/drink www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/sugar
Toothbrushing should be part of every child’s daily routine. Tooth brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of the teeth and fluoride keeps teeth strong and helps fight tooth decay.
Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Brush in the morning after breakfast and in the evening just before bed
For children up to 3 years of age, use a smear of toothpaste with 1000ppm (parts per million) on a dry brush.For children aged 3 years and above, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with at least 1000 – 1500 ppm fluoride on a dry brush.
Children up to the age of seven should be assisted with their brushing, but you are trying to establish a habit to last a lifetime so they should have time to use the brush themselves as well
To brush your child’s teeth it is easier if you stand behind the child and cradle their chin in your left hand so you can reach both top and bottom teeth. Then allow them to brush their own teeth and remember to give them lots of praise. You should make sure that they spit out the toothpaste and do not allow them to rinse the toothpaste off the teeth after brushing as the longer the toothpaste stays on the teeth then the greater the benefits to the teeth from the fluoride.