Keeping children’s teeth healthy is an extremely important part of our parenting role and can often be challenging to get right.
There are 4 basic principles to bare in mind when thinking about protecting children’s teeth:
So no plaque= no tooth decay and no sugar = no tooth decay. It’s obviously impossible to cut out all sugar in the diet or eliminate all plaque but keeping sugar consumption low and plaque levels down by using a fluoride toothpaste with a good tooth brushing technique should eliminate any tooth decay. The main cause of toothache in children is tooth decay and can be very upsetting for both children and parents.
We are often asked if thumb sucking is really that bad. The answer is it depends on how much and how vigorously the child sucks their thumb or finger. This can be assessed at a dental check up. The effect is to push forwards the top teeth and make the arch of the palate deeper. With the top front teeth ‘sticking out’ they are more likely to get hit and damaged. Mouthguards are key in preventing trauma in children sports such as hockey, rugby and karate.
If trauma does occurs your dentist will often be able to fix it very successfully. Some key points should a child’s tooth be broken or knocked out.
It is recommended that children should go to the dentist with their parents as soon as possible, just for the visit even if their teeth aren’t looked at. This will let them get used to the noises, smells and surroundings and hopefully a sticker! The earlier these visits start, the more relaxed the children will be. Intervals between check ups will be made according to risk factors contributing to the chances of decay; your child’s oral hygiene and diet and whether they are getting new decay at each visit.