We want to take care of our children in the best possible way, keep them from harm and look after them. We like to treat our children every now and again too, maybe with a sweet treat or a bar of chocolate but what if that treat is given every day? Do you know the possible harm that the little daily treat is doing to their oral health?
Lets look at the facts, decay is the main reason why children in England, between the age of 5-9 are admitted to hospital. Between 2012-2013 it was estimated that the NHS spent nearly £30 million on tooth extractions on children aged 18 and under. All this can be avoided by regular tooth brushing, fluoridation and diet control.
Ensure your child attends regular dental examinations. These appointments allow the dentist to spot any problems early. It also provides the dentist with an opportunity to coat the adult molar teeth with fluoride. This strengthens the enamel and helps protect against decay. If your child is deemed to be a high risk for dental cavities, the dentist may decide to place sealants over the biting surfaces of the new adult molars. These sealants smooth any pits and fissures making it hard for any plaque or food particles to become trapped which could cause decay.
Make sure they brush their teeth regularly and properly. Supervise your child till the age of 7 years to ensure they are brushing rather than chewing the brush. Choose a toothpaste for your child’s particular age. This will ensure that the toothpaste contains the correct amount of fluoride. Fluoride levels should be at least 1000ppm up until the age of 3 and between 1350-1500ppm after this age.
Control the amount of sugar given to your child. This means limiting the amount of sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks. The higher the sugar intake, the higher risk your child is at developing tooth decay.
Try to stop or limit unhealthy snacks. You may think that raisins are a healthy snack when in fact they are high in natural sugars and tend to stick to the teeth. The sugar in them then attacks the enamel. Even if you choose sugar free drinks they most probably still contain acids which can still attack the teeth. Milk and water are a good alternative to drink and raw vegetables and bread sticks are a better choice of snack.
Be careful when giving your child fresh fruit juices and smoothies to drink. Again you may think you are giving them the healthy option but in fact these drinks are full of hidden sugars which will and can damage your child’s teeth.
It is simply unacceptable how many children suffer from tooth decay when in fact it is easily avoidable. We only get 2 sets of teeth throughout our lifetime so we need to take care of our teeth, preventing any possible treatment being needed. In fact if you instil good oral hygiene habits from a young age, your child is highly likely to carry on these habits throughout adulthood