Prevention of tooth decay
We were alarmed to read that tooth decay is now the number one reason for child hospital admissions in England (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42662425) and hence have decided to revisit our previous blog on tooth decay. Below we discuss what causes tooth decay and what measures you can take to help to reduce the risk of tooth decay in children (as well as us grown-ups!).
Some of the reasons a child may develop dental disease/decay include:
- Snacking or grazing on sugary food
- Failure to recognise the risks associated with 'healthy snacks' such as raisins/dried fruits and cereals
- Favouring diluted squash and fruit juice over water
- Reluctance to move away from bottle use
- Stopping supported brushing too soon
- Confusion about when to first visit a dentist.
We recommend the following simple measures to help to prevent tooth decay:
- Keep sugary/acidic foods and drinks to mealtimes and use a straw when having such drinks
- Snacks and drinks in between meals should be tooth friendly e.g. still, unflavoured water, fresh fruit or vegetables, plain bagels, plain rice cakes, unsalted plain popcorn
- Avoid 'no added suagr/low sugar' drinks as they contain fruit sugars and sweeteners
- Brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime with a fluoride toothpaste
- Only spit out after brushing - don't rinse with water or mouthwash
- Avoiding brushing immediately after eating/drinking. Wait at least 30 minutes
- Children under 3 years of age should have their teeth brushed as soon as they appear in the mouth with a soft, small headed toothbrush and a smear of 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste (check the ingredients of the toothpaste for this information)
- Children over 3 years should use a pea size amount of 1350ppm fluoride toothpaste
- Parents should supervise tootbrushing until at least the age of 8
- After brushing teeth at night avoid having anything to eat or drink, except plain water
- Children over the age of 1 should no longer use a bottle
- Arrange to visit a dentist when your child's first tooth appears and maintain regualr appointments.
At RD Dental we aim to prevent tooth decay from an early age by educating all of our patients and taking the necessary measures, such as applying fluoride varnish twice a year to the teeth of all children.
Please contact us for a chat or for further information. We look forward to welcoming you.
Ritesh and Devanshee Mody