Looking after your children’s teeth- By Sophie Hastelow Dental Therapist at Lindley Dental
It is important to brush children’s teeth as soon as they start to erupt. Lots of children struggle with tooth brushing so starting early and implementing a good routine is essential. Teeth should be brushed twice per day for 2 minutes each time. We advise supervised brushing until at least 7 years of age. This means brushing your child’s teeth first and then allowing them to have a go afterwards.
It is also important that the toothpaste your child uses has an appropriate level of fluoride. We recommend an adult toothpaste from age 6 onwards. Some children dislike the “minty” flavours of some adult toothpastes, if this is something your child struggles with we are happy to suggest possible alternatives.
Diet plays a key role in tooth decay. It is not the overall amount of sugar which we consume which is the problem, but rather the frequency throughout the day with which it is consumed. We recommend that children stick to 3 main meals per day with no more than 2 “safe snacks”. The only 2 drinks we recommend as “safe for teeth” are plain milk and/or water. Anything else such as fruit juices, dilute juices, fizzy pop and smoothies can have an negative affect on teeth and so should be consumed with care.
It is ok to have foods and drinks containing sugar but we advise to limit these things to mealtimes only. For example as a dessert rather than at “snack time”. Something as simple as changing the time a sugary product is consumed can make a big difference. Having a small treat once or twice a week as a dessert rather than a snack is much safer for teeth overall.
Examples of “safe snacks”
- Carrot sticks
- Cucumber sticks
Examples of foods better eating as desserts rather than snacks
- Cereal bars
- Dried, sticky fruits such as raisins
Why see a Dental Therapist?
Regular visits to see a dental therapist are a great way to increase a child’s confidence in coming to the dental practice.
A dental therapist is well placed within the dental team to provide education and preventative advice. They can help you and your child with an individual, tailored plan to help achieve and maintain a good standard of oral health.
Dental therapists can also provide a range of preventative treatments such fissure sealants and fluoride varnish.
Regular visits for preventive advice are all part of our Denplan for Children scheme.
So, if you are looking for all round dental care for your child why not give us a call at Lindley Dental?