You are never too young to visit the dentist

Well, I’m still concerned about the crisis in children’s dental health. It’s not a new story by any means and we eagerly await further statistics from the oral health study due for release in May 2018, in the hope that decay rates are declining.

According to the FDI global survey carried out in 10 countries only 13% of parents with children under 18 years of age took their child to the dentist before their first birthday. Further more a startling 20% reported never taking their child at all.

This message is simple, creating good oral health habits starts from birth. I recommend a dental check by 1 year #DCby1. Lets create healthy habits for life to reduce the risk of dental disease, and also we can do our bit to tackle childhood obesity.

In January 2015, I championed the government’s Sugar Swaps initiative – – that offers downloadable information highlighting some simple ways to help your kids eat less sugar.
And, as well as addressing the problem of the amount of sweet stuff we have in our diets, these new stats serve as a timely reminder to parents everywhere to get children into good dental health habits, too.

I also champion the dental check by one campaign (DCby1).  The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) launched the campaign to work together with families to fulfil their ambition of cavity free children.

So, as schools break up for the Easter holidays, why not set aside some time to book a dental appointment for them (and you) and dedicate your efforts to improving your whole family’s dental health care

My top tips

Firstly, get into good dental hygiene habits yourself – especially if pregnant! Gum health can suffer in pregnancy with all those hormone changes in the body, gums are more likely to become inflamed as they are more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque. Make sure you visit the dental team regularly throughout those nine months
Bring along your baby to see a dental hygienist or dental therapist as soon as possible. We are happy to show you how to care for your baby’s mouth and talk through the development of their teeth
And be sure to register your child with the dental practice on that first visit, too – ideally before their first birthday. Then, visit the dental team at least once a year. It may help to bring them to the practice when you have a check up, too, so that they grow familiar with the sights and sounds of the surroundings, and guess what we’ll give them a certificate too
Supervise teeth cleaning – remember that you are in this for the long haul. You will need to keep a watchful eye on them at least until the age of seven or eight when they will, hopefully, understand what is needed to keep their mouth healthy. Although, I have to say, the longer you can keep an eye on their brushing the better.
There are so many toothbrush and toothpaste options that it can be confusing. I often talk through preferences with parents of my younger patients.
Make sure you know what they are eating. Many foods have hidden sugars and, what we may think is healthy, may not be. Read food labels or talk it through with your dental professional about food and drink to avoid
Stick to tooth brushing twice daily with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, especially just before bed, avoid snacking on sweet stuff and schedule regular dental checks.

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