Children’s Teeth – Myths and Facts
No child should have tooth decay at an early age, and here are a few tips to make sure.
Despite improvements in dental health care over the years, it is regularly reported that many children start primary school already showing signs of dental decay. In some cases, this decay is so severe that they are hospitalised to receive treatment.
No parent wants to see their child suffer with toothache, yet the number of children with tooth decay in early life seems to suggest that more knowledge about how to avoid this is needed.
With this in mind, the team at Blue Sky Dental have put together a simple checklist that will help to prevent tooth decay in young children.
Always make sure that you supervise your children’s teeth cleaning habits. This should remain in place until they are approximately seven or eight years old. Whilst we appreciate that this can be difficult, it will pay off, with less dental treatment needed. You should not encourage your children to clean their teeth immediately after eating though, as the enamel is softer for an hour or so after eating and can be more easily damaged by brushing. Also, do not encourage the child to rinse as this washes away some of the positive effects of the fluoride contained in the toothpaste.
Fruit drinks and ‘healthy’ food
Drinking fruit juices is one of the biggest causes of tooth decay in young children. Most parents provide these as they are ‘healthy’. The fact is though that fruit juices are high in sugar, whether naturally occurring or added. To add to this, many parents provide these drinks in ‘sippy cups’ that the child carries around the house with them, taking a sip every now and then. In effect though, this provides the harmful bacteria in the mouth with a regular supply of sugars on which they thrive.
To prevent this, fruit juices should only be given on special occasions and not on a regular basis. Water, or milk, is the recommended drink for better dental health. Healthy snacks such as dried fruit are also not as healthy as you’d imagine when it comes to dental health. Although chocolate could not be described generally as a healthy food, the reality is that it is quite easily washed away, minimising the residual sugars in the mouth. Dried fruit, on the other hand, is very sticky and can remain on, or in between, the teeth for much longer.
Professional dental care
Finally, do not put off bringing your young child to see one of our Chelmsford dentists, perhaps thinking that the first teeth are not important. Whilst it is true that these will fall out naturally, toothache is toothache, whichever teeth are affected. Also, any bacteria that have caused the tooth decay may remain in the mouth as a potential threat to the child’s adult teeth when they come through.
In addition to this, getting a child used to the dental environment will help to establish this in their lives as they get older, and is also likely to help them overcome any dental fears that they might develop.
If you are looking for a family dentist in Chelmsford, we are here to help. Call the Blue Sky Dental Practice today on 01245 211070.