As well as regular visits to the dentist you need to look after your child’s teeth at home. Check out the following oral health care tips for your children:
- Start dental care as soon as baby teeth start to emerge. Minimal amounts of baby toothpaste can be gently wiped on the teeth with a soft toothbrush or cotton-bud. As more teeth come through you should be using a soft toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste, and at age three to six, you can progress to a pea-sized amount of paste.
- Brush your child’s teeth for around two minutes, twice a day, and especially before bedtime. Encourage them to brush for long enough by introducing a child-friendly timer.
- Supervise and assist tooth brushing until children are old enough to brush properly by themselves (at around seven or eight years). However, even when they can clean their teeth alone you should supervise regularly to check they are still using an effective technique.
- Sugar is what caused dental decay. It’s a very simple cause and controlling sugar intakes in the diet is the simple and completely effective means to avoid dental disease. Sugary drinks and snacks should be kept to a minimum.
Never give sugar to babies and toddlers in spouted beaker containers. Each time sugar is introduced to the mouth the teeth come under an attack that lasts an hour. The number of these attacks each day should be kept to a minimum. Ideally sugary foods and drinks should be restricted to mealtimes. “Treats” or sugary snacks at other times should be the exception. Mostly it’s clear what constitutes a sugar intake but remember there are many hidden sugars in foods (especially highly processed foods). Again, it’s best to restrict these sources to mealtimes. Fruit contains natural sugar but it’s generally ok to have whole fruits (rather than juices or smoothies) as a snack if there are not a lot of other sugar intakes in the diet.
A combination of regular visits to the dentist from a young age, developing a good dental care routine at home and ensuring a healthy diet will help keep your child’s teeth in great condition for life.Return to the Treatments page