As parents, we all do our best to ensure our children have the best we can offer them. These 8 simple steps will ensure you give your children the best chance at having healthy teeth.
Did you know most children don’t have the motor skills to brush their teeth effectively until they are 8 years old? So when the kiddies are brushing their teeth, make sure you check their technique, and that each surface of the tooth is perfectly clean.
Don’t give children milk just before bed!
The sugars in the milk, along with the bacteria levels in the mouth is the easiest way to cause tooth decay. Its best to wipe the mouth with a soft cloth, or brush teeth (if there are any!) after the last milk feed.
Hi ho, Hi ho, its off to the dentist we go! Getting children to the dentist early enough will prevent early decay, and prevent more serious treatments that may be needed! It also gives the child the opportunity to build a trusting relationship with the nice (not scary!) dentist. The first trip to the dentist should be at about 18-24 months of age.
Careful with the snacking! We all offer our children healthy snacks – bananas, raisins, whole grain crackers… these are great for nutrition, but they have concentrated sugars that sit in the grooves of the teeth ready to create cavities. Its best to offer these foods with meals (when there’s more saliva to get rid of the sugars) and try brushing afterwards.
Fix cavities quickly! You may think cavities in baby teeth are not a big deal- but they are! Baby teeth are necessary to guide the jaw as it grows, and to maintain space for adult teeth. If a cavity in a baby tooth becomes infected, it can affect the development of the adult teeth! So treat these cavities early!
Get your fluoride on! The research is clear – Fluoride is one of the best easy ways to prevent cavities. Always buy toothpaste appropriate for the age of the child, and only use a small amount. For children 3 years old and younger, they only need half a pea-sized amount. For children from 3 to 6 years old, a pea-sized amount is enough.
Less Juice ,more water! Juice has a surprisingly high amount of natural sugars which can cause tooth decay very fast, so sorry kids more water and juice only as a treat.
Give the sports drinks a time out! A common cause of tooth decay in older children is sipping on sports drinks and soft drinks. By bathing their teeth in acid all day, there’s no opportunity for the PH of the mouth to re-balance. If you can’t ‘red-card’ the sports drinks all together, try and limit the amount, and try and make the main drink good old water!