Children's Dental Tips
It is so important to look after your children’s teeth. Children are poor at brushing their teeth until 8 years old, so it is their parent or guardian’s responsibility to clean their child’s teeth in the morning and evening.
As soon as a tooth erupts into a baby’s mouth, usually around 6 months old, this should be brushed with a small soft toothbrush and special children’s toothpaste. We recommend these children see either a dental nurse for a quick check and advice if required, or me privately.
The golden hour is the last hour before bed. This is relevant for adults and children. Only water should be drunk. The saliva in the mouth should be of a neutral pH if this is the case. If anyone has food in this hour, they are increasing the likelihood of decaying their teeth, as saliva is reduced overnight whilst sleeping.
Tap water is best and regular drinking to flush any food from the teeth can help too. Sparkling water and Soda-streams are acidic so we would recommend to avoid these, or use a reusable straw.
Fluoridated toothpaste is useful for all ages as it reduces the chance of decay and strengthens your teeth. It makes teeth harder to get decay by increasing the mineral content of the teeth. Children should be using adult toothpaste by 6 years old to give the teeth the best chance of avoiding decay.
If there are large gaps between your child’s teeth, floss may not be necessary. If the baby teeth are right next to each other with almost no gap, floss can really help avoid cavities here, although it is unlikely a child can manage to floss until 10 years old. Adults are so important in helping optimise their child’s health to create good habits for life.
Children seem to snack often throughout the day, which significantly increases their susceptibility to decay. Healthier snacks such as carrots with hummus, pita bread, sandwiches and whole fruit help to keep their tummies fed for longer. Chippies and biscuits are more likely to mean the child needs a snack again sooner, which as mentioned, increases their likelihood of decay. Treats should be limited to mealtimes so there is one acid and sugar attack rather than at random times of day; e.g. if Charlie eats all his dinner, he has an ice-cream straight after, rather than waiting 30 minutes and causing two acid/sugar attacks on his teeth.