Simple steps to help avoid tooth decay in children

on 21st August 2018

With stats showing that 31% of children start their school lives with tooth decay, the Oral Health Foundation offers some top tips to make sure children’s teeth get top marks!

1. Start early

Starting early is vitally important, as it sets them up for life. As soon as your baby’s teeth come through, you should brush them every day. Also, make an appointment with a dentist to make sure everything is developing okay and get tips on how to look after your little one’s teeth. Making toothbrushing a family activity is a great way to help young children understand the importance of a healthy mouth.

2. Two minutes twice a day

The most basic rule – brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste. For parents, it’s a good idea to watch your children until they are confident they can be trusted to brush for the full two minutes unsupervised. This usually happens around the age of seven.

3. Tasty tooth times

Children are often fussy about flavours of food that they eat. The flavour of toothpaste is no different, so let them pick one they like. Make sure you choose a toothpaste with the right amount of fluoride in it, no matter what flavour it is. All children up to the age of three years should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use toothpaste that contains 1350ppm-1500ppm.

4. Dietary duty

Educating on diet is important too. Get your kids to pack their own healthy lunch and snacks for school. Avoid sugary foods and drinks and instead opt for breadsticks, vegetables and even cheese, which is a great choice as it helps remove harmful acid. Your kids get a better idea of what is healthy and what is not, helping not only their oral health but overall health.

5. The best brush

Choose a small-to-medium-sized toothbrush with soft-to-medium bristles. This is the perfect size for your child’s mouth. Don’t forget to replace the toothbrush regularly, when the bristles become worn, and after illness.

6. The last straw

Try to teach your children on the best healthy drinks to have in their lunch boxes, such as water and milk. If they do have sugary drinks, teach them to use a straw when drinking. This helps sugar and acid in the drink go to the back of their mouth and reduces the number of bacteria attacks on their teeth.

For more information and advice on how to keep your children’s oral health ahead of the class, call the Oral Health Foundation’s dental helpline on 01788 539780.

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