Smile!

7th April 2015

Looking after our teeth is so important to all aspects of our health and well being. Even children’s temporary milk teeth are super important to keep clean and healthy, as not only do they hold the space ready for our adult teeth but they aid children’s speech, allow children to eat a varied and healthy diet and give them the confidence and self esteem to take pride in there appearance.

Young girl brushing her teeth

Three ways to prevent dental disease. 

  1. brush children’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.  

Children will need assistance with their brushing until they are at least seven years old. As soon as teeth come through brush them twice a day with a smear of tooth paste. (recommended 1000 ppm fluoride). Once they hit three years of age begin to use a pea sized amount of adult toothpaste. Encourage  spitting out rather then rinsing to encourage the fluoride to work.

2. keep sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes only

Tooth decay is increased by the amount of exposure to sugars each day. By not snacking on sugary  foods and drinks and just eating at mealtimes this exposure to tooth decay can be reduced and keep under control. If snacks are given, then non sugary foods such as fresh fruit, raw vegetables, cheese, crackers and buttered toast is preferable.

3. Visit the dentist regularly

Not only do dentists check for decay and cavities  but they can advise both parents and children on how to brush and what to eat. Its important to get children into a consistent routine regarding oral health and visiting the dentist is all part of this.

Some dos and don’ts regarding oral health

  • do get children used to drinking water and milk
  • don’t snack on dried fruit as the sugar is concentrated
  • do allow fruit juice at mealtimes but always dilute with water.
  • don’t give sugary drinks at or before sleep time (especially not in a bottle)

Other interesting facts. . .

  • babies are soothed by the action of sucking, but by the age of one they no longer require this sucking reflex therefore children should be weaned off their dummies/pacifiers before they turn one. This is certainly recommended once front teeth start to come through.
  • It is also advised that children no longer drink from bottles past one years of age. Beakers should be introduced and open top cups advised as early as possible.
  • Teething  does not cause diarrhea or temperatures. Possible reasons why these symptoms coincide with teething may be because while teething, babies tend to put lots in their mouth meaning exposure to germs and viruses

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