child brushing teeth

Cavities in Children, a topic that has received a lot of press in recent months. The truth is this is a real problem that needs addressing.

As a nation we need to make some changes and educate ourselves on how to improve the situation.

Oral B have some fantastic information on their website for different life stages.

Here are a few pieces of advice to help any parents/guardians that may be struggling to keep their children’s teeth healthy.

1. Regular Dental Check-ups

Children should see their dentist for a routine examination every 6 months.

This not only enables the dental team to

  • Monitor the child’s oral hygiene,
  • Diagnose any potential problems and
  • Give specific advice on maintaining their oral hygiene

It gives the child a chance to become familiar with the dental team, and not to be afraid.

This really helps when/if the child needs dental treatment as they won’t be too scared to have it done. A fear, that far too many of us suffer with.

We truly believe that prevention is the best approach to take. For that reason we have recently introduced a Children’s membership plan at our practice.

2. Assist with brushing

Teaching our children how to brush their teeth properly is essential, and practising is an important aspect of that. However, parents/guardians should be assisting with brushing until the child is at least 7/8 years old.

Brushing your teeth in the evening is extremely important. If it is missed – All of the bacteria that has built up in the mouth throughout the day, will stay in the mouth and on the teeth all night whilst you sleep.

This is when cavities are likely to develop. It is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene, that this isn’t missed out of the daily routine.

Tip: Perhaps allow your child to brush their teeth by themselves in the morning (after they have eaten their breakfast), and then in the evening before they go to bed, assist them, and spend a little longer brushing, ensuring that each surface of every tooth is thoroughly cleaned.

Childrens Toothbrush
Disney Princess Toothbrush

3. Diet

Monitoring our children’s diets can really help us reduce the risk of developing cavities.

For example, we all know that fizzy drinks are bad for us. But the common mistake is giving children lots of fruit juices and squash, believing that they are healthy. This is unfortunately not the case. They contain lots of sugar and acids, and when consumed regularly can play a large role in cavities being developed.

4. Holiday treats

It is all too tempting at Christmas, Easter and Halloween to buy lots of sweets and chocolate as the shelves in every shop is full of them!

One or two treats over the holiday season is fine, as long as we maintain the routine of keeping good oral hygiene. Brushing after eating the sweets or chocolate will also help.

Tip: Instead of filling a Christmas stocking with lots of sweets and chocolates, Spend the same amount of money on;

  • a colouring book and pens,
  • a small toy or
  • puzzle or
  • Even a fun new toothbrush (Many are available with children’s favourite cartoon characters on).

5. Make brushing fun

Utilise the world of technology that we now live in. Download a an app such as ‘Oral B Disney Magic timer’, or play different tooth brushing songs that can be found on Youtube. There is so much content out there ready for us to use. Plus, its free!

Even something as simple as letting your little one choose a new toothbrush can be very effective.