It’s so tough with children as you want them to have fun and go to all of the parties and celebrations, but you also need to mind their sugar levels. It seems like there is even more sugar now than there used to be, with modern day Pass the Parcel often including a pack of Haribo in every layer, it’s getting harder to avoid and find the balance of discipline while still allowing them to be kids. We’ve put together our top tips on looking after children’s teeth that are realistic yet also results-based, after all, some of us are also parents at The Treatment Centre so we understand how challenging it can be. Here are a few of our favourite tips when it comes to your children’s teeth:
Brush their Teeth – we always recommend that children don’t brush their own teeth until at the earliest the age of 7 (and even then, you should be checking them afterwards. The standard brush time should be at least 2 minutes which can seem like a really long time for a child so if you give them control, they are likely to cut corners and stop the clock before they’ve actually cleaned their teeth
Use Disclosing Tablets – these purple tablets show how much plaque is in their mouths once they finish cleaning. Brilliant to use as an educational tool and explain how to improve their brushing technique and highlight what they have missed so they can try to “beat the tablet” and do their best clean
Make it Fun – 2 minutes or more feels like forever when you’re 5. Be sure to keep it fun – brush as a family and put on some music to brush to. Perhaps you could brush the left-hand side for one verse then the centre for the chorus then the right-hand side and back to centre to concentrate on specific areas. You could also incorporate reward charts and incentives, just don’t make the rewards sugar-focused!
Reduce Sugar Exposure – obvious yet essential, children should only have a maximum of 4 sugar attacks a day. That’s 3 meals and one snack. Any more than that starts to affect their teeth and increase risk of issues and decay. The best thing you can do is cut down little and often snacking and grazing and instead, eat more in each sitting to avoid multiple sugar attacks. It is better to give your children 3 snacks altogether than 3 separate ones an hour apart each time. Try not to allow fizzy drinks or sugary juices either as these are high in sugar and damaging to their teeth
Maintain Check-Ups – the best thing you can do for your children is get them used to the dentist, ideally as young as possible. Realistically, in the early days it will just be for a check-up and to sit in the chair but that’s still so important to make sure they are comfortable, and it becomes something they get used to, reducing anxiety from childhood to adulthood
At The Treatment Centre, we adore kids and welcome them in the practice. We are happy to take the time to make it fun and relaxed for them and get them used to a dental setting. Get in touch with us today to schedule a new child patient consultation, we love to talk teeth, from toddlers to teens!
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