Family Magazine

How to Care for Your Child’s Oral Health

By Evette Garside @evette77

How to care for your child’s oral healthHow to care for your child’s oral health

As adults it's vitally important to keep our teeth and dental health in check. Losing teeth can feel like losing an arm or leg but it doesn't need to be the end of the world.

Treatments such as dentures and implants can make so much difference. You can speak to WeyBridge Dental for dental implants. Implants improve your smile and facial features and give you back your confidence. They can be expensive but many places will allow for instalment plants for ease the burden a little.

However when it comes to children and their teeth, it's a whole different ball game. As parents it's our job to help them to care and protect their teeth.

Tooth decay amongst children in the UK, is yet again on the rise. Between 2017-2018 over 26000 children between the ages of 5-9 years were admitted to hospital with tooth decay. This is a growing problem and extremely worrying given that we live in a country where child dental health is free of charge. So why is this such a problem in the UK? - well there seem to be several conflicting reasons as to why child tooth decay is on the rise. These include the following.

  • Sugar consumption- We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth. Children love sweets and sugary things and too much is always a bad thing
  • No dentist - Unfortunately registering with a local dentist can be tricky with many practices already full of long waiting lists for nhs patients and private dentistry being unaffordable.
  • Inadequate home care - A relaxed attitude to teeth brushing, allowing children to skip brushing their teeth or not properly supervising.

All of these reasons and many more can be the factors in tooth decay. Tooth decay and abscesses are extremely painful, especially so for a young child. The end result usually being multiple tooth extraction which is also a painful recovery. By doing a few simple things with your child, you can eliminate the need for painful extraction and keel tooth decay at bay.

1) Brush your child's teeth as soon as they appear - Most children get their first tooth before their first birthday. Once the tooth is there, invest in a small soft toothbrush and brush the tooth. This not only protects the teeth but also gets your child used to the feeling of brushing their teeth.

2) Avoid children's toothpastes - Although it may be tempting to go for a kids flavoured toothpaste, most dentists advise using an adult or family toothpaste from the start. Children's toothpastes contain less fluoride and less of the good stuff that helps our teeth stay healthy. It also gets children more used to the stronger taste.

3) Brush teeth twice daily - In the morning and before bed. Supervise younger children with their brushing making sure they brush all teeth.

4) Limit sugar - This can be difficult as most children have a sweet tooth. My dentist advised to give sweet drinks only with main meals and sweet treats just after a meal. This way the sugar is in one go and not at random times during the day. Less sugar means less plaque. We've all heard that we should only give our children milk or water to drink but in the real world we know that that's not always as easy as it sounds.

5)Register with a dentist when a baby - Did you know that your little one doesn't even need to have a first tooth to register with a dentist? Most dental practices will let you register your baby at the same practice you attend. It's important to get a child seeing a dentist as early as possible to eliminate any childhood fears later on.

6) Attend regular check ups with your child - Most children are seen on a 6 month basis for a general check up. It's important to attend and address any concerns with your dental practitioner. Most check ups are over and done with within 20 minutes and usually problem free. Children in the UK are all entitled to free nhs dental care.

7) Listen to your Child - If your child does complain of dental pain then it's important not to dismiss it as it could get worse. Instead get them a dental check up as soon as you can

8) Electric toothbrushes for all the family - What was once unaffordable to some has come right down in price. Electric toothbrushes now come in all sorts of shapes and sizes with many being designed just for children. Some of them come with lots of features and even work with apps. They give a much better precise clean than a manual brush and with very little effort.

I hope these tips helped. Take care of your teeth, once they're gone they are gone for good.

A


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