A recent report made by Public Health England has declared that 1 in 10 three-year-olds has tooth decay. Toddlers had an average of three teeth that were decayed, missing or filled.
Many are bought up with the idea that children’s milk teeth are not important, as they are lost during childhood anyway and it does not matter if they need to have fillings. In fact it is the complete opposite. A healthy child’s mouth will facilitate a healthy adult one later in life.
We are keen to see a child from an early age, getting them used to coming to the dentist is key to gaining their confidence. We will encourage the parents to bring them along from birth, just so they can experience the sights, sounds and smells that comes along with a routine visit to ‘get your teeth counted’. This way the children grow up with an idea as to what to expect when it is finally their turn. We use a gentle approach to children’s dentistry, taking things at the child pace.
What can parents do to reduce the risks of tooth decay in their children?
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks
Keep sugar intake to a minimum by only giving it at meal times.
Give water and milk
Avoid fruit juice and squashes, which are high in natural and artificial sugars and replace with water or milk.
Move children from bottles to cups from the age of one
Sippy cups keep fluid contact around the teeth and increase the risk of decay to front teeth. Using a normal cup or straw will help reduce this risk.
Brush teeth twice a day, this should be supervised by an adult
All because a child can hold a toothbrush doesn’t mean to say they are using it correctly. We promote that the adult should clean the child teeth and the child could give them a final polish! This way the adult can visually inspect that the teeth are plaque free and identify any problems early.
Use only sugar-free medicines if possible
Most children’s medicines will come in a sugar free form, parents or carers should request a prescription is written out for the sugar free choice.