5 Ways to Prevent Children’s Tooth Decay
The press reported only the other day that tens of thousands of children are having to have decayed teeth removed in hospital each year and, according to the latest figures, this shows an increase for the fourth year in a row. In one single year between 2014 and 2015 there were 33,781 children under 10 years old admitted to hospital to have teeth taken out, quite a shocking statistic.
One of the things which is most concerning is that 90% of this tooth decay is preventable, according to Prof Nigel Hunt, the Dean of dental surgery faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons.
So what can you do at home?
Here are 5 easy ways to prevent children’s tooth decay at home
1. Set a daily routine.
We all know that children love to know what’s coming and what’s going to happen, that’s why they love to hear the same story every night. By setting a routine your children will begin to understand the importance of cleaning their teeth and may even remind you if you forget. Forming this good habit early on in life is a critical part of helping them develop a good dental health care routine.
2. Ensure your brushing technique is good.
When you brush their teeth, use a small pea sized amount of children’s toothpaste, brush each tooth individually spending 30 seconds on each quadrant (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right). Clean all the surfaces of the tooth, the tongue side, the cheek side and the biting surfaces. As you do this, tell your children what you’re doing so that they can begin to understand the importance of good technique.
Poke your tongue out.
Get your children into the habit of looking after their whole oral health, not just their teeth. Their tongue may also harbour bacteria and is important to keep this clean also.
Visit your dentist regularly.
If your children see you visiting the dentist regularly then they will become familiar with the routine themselves. Also, you may have developed bad habits yourself with cleaning your own teeth, when you visit your own dentist they can let you know if your own dental hygiene routine is adequate or needs improvement, you can then pass this information on to your children also.
Maintain a healthy diet.
A healthy diet that is low in sugar helps to keep your dental health in good condition. Diets which are high in sugar feeds the acid excreting bacteria in your mouth which can cause dental decay. This is particularly important with children who have a tendency to eat sweets and fizzy drinks regularly. Try to avoid lollipops as these keep the sugar in contact with the teeth for a long time and if your child likes fizzy drinks, encourage them to drink through a straw as this will keep the bacteria away from their teeth also. Ultimately, reducing the amount of sugar intake should be the aim.
Senova Dental Studios is a family dental practice in Watford, Hertfordshire helping the local people Rickmansworth, Chorleywood and Jarrett cross with their dental health. If you or your child would like information or advice then please request an appointment today.
A graduate of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Dental school, Dr Padayachy has been a dentist at the award winning Senova Dental Studios in Watford since 1998 focusing on comprehensive restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
Jay has previously been the president of The London Dental Fellowship.
He has been a member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry since its inception and serves on the Credentialing committee. Jay has lectured widely on all aspects of cosmetic dentistry, dental photography and comprehensive care.
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