Healthy Kids are Happy Kids
For most parents or guardians, keeping children happy, healthy and safe is an absolute priority. We will do everything within our power to keep our kids out of harm’s way from the moment they are born and throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, nearly a quarter of all 5-year-olds in England have tooth decay, with 12% of 3-year-olds also showing signs of decay. This was the most common reason for hospital admission for children aged 5 to 9-years-old between 2012 and 2013. Thankfully, tooth decay is completely preventable and keeping your child safe from the affects of tooth decay is easy when you visit your dentist regularly.
Start them early
The current Dental Check by One government initiative is highlighting the importance of taking children to see the dentist by their first birthday, or when their first tooth appears – whichever comes first. In doing so, you can ensure they receive the care they need to look after their teeth and gums right from the beginning. It also helps them to familiarise them with the dental practice environment, which sets them in good stead to start a lifelong habit of regular dental visits.
It also means you can seek the support and advice you need to look after their mouths at home. Supervised tooth brushing is recommended until at least the age of 7, but your dentist or dental hygienist / therapist can offer further guidance tailored specifically to your child. Whether you have questions about use of fluoride toothpaste, the softness of toothbrush bristles or other factors that affect children’s dental health like diet and exercise, your dental team is here to help. They can also offer some minor treatments that can help to prevent dental problems in the future. Plus, dental care is free under the NHS for all children up to the age of 18 (or 19 if they’re in full-time education).
Here are some of our top tips for a happy, dentally healthy child:
- Take your child to the dentist from when their first tooth appears, or by the age of 1, and maintain regular visits
- Supervise their tooth brushing twice a day
- Use a toothpaste with the recommended fluoride content for their age (ask your dentist if you have any questions)
- Tooth brushing should happen at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything acidic or sugary
- Aim for a healthy, balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and a low amount of saturated carbohydrates or sugars
- Keep sugary treats for after a meal – try to avoid consumption of sugary snacks or drinks for prolonged periods of time
- Encourage children to drink water after eating to wash out food debris and bacteria
- Try to discourage thumb sucking
If you have any questions about your child’s dental health or your routines at home, our friendly professional teams throughout England and Wales would be happy to help, find your local practice today. Our dentists and dental hygienists / therapists are great with kids and we have specialist clinicians available as well, should your child ever require more advanced or carefully tailored treatment. We know that healthy kids mean happy kids (and happy parents!) – we are here to help you care for your children’s teeth now and for years to come.