Tooth decay is the softening of the enamel on the tooth, which damages the structure and can eventually result in cavities when left untreated. Over time, this can lead to holes in the teeth which can grow larger over time.
Over the years, we’ve seen a sharp increase in children suffering from tooth decay between the ages of 5-9. With tooth decay usually coming down to diet and cleaning habits, preventing tooth decay is much easier than tooth decay treatment.
To avoid the repercussions of tooth decay in children, it’s worth knowing the initial signs before things get worse. Typical signs include yellow, brown or black staining on the surface of the tooth towards the gum line or complete discolouration of the teeth.
Taking good care of your child’s teeth is a crucial routine which is part of maintaining their overall health. Tooth decay is a sign of poor hygiene, oral health and diet, and can be difficult to identify in childhood stages, but can also require major dental treatment.
In this blog, we’ve listed some of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay in your child.
If you’ve read our previous blog post, you’ll understand that having healthy teeth makes for a healthy heart, so it’s no surprise that brushing and flossing your child’s teeth regularly is the best prevention method for tooth decay.
Brushing your child’s teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. We recommend brushing your baby’s teeth when they’re around six months of age when their first milk tooth breaks through.
If you have concerns about your child not brushing their teeth correctly, you should continue to guide their hand so they understand the correct movement. Another way to get your child involved is to use an egg timer, as some children may be tempted to brush for less than the recommended two minutes.
There are some great mobile apps that can make the brushing routine fun and educational, including Brush DJ, which vibrates every 30 seconds to let your child know to change sides, with a round of applause at the end of the two minutes.
We also recommend flossing your child’s teeth regularly, from the moment they have two teeth growing closely together. When flossing, remember to be gentle and don’t panic if their gums bleed, as this is a sign of their gums adapting.
Limit or avoid some foods
Any dentist, nutritional expert or doctor will offer strict advice on what foods should be limited when feeding your child. High-sugar foods, including sweets, chocolate, fruit juices and carbonated drinks can corrode enamel, cause cavities and can potentially result in tooth decay. For this reason, you should limit these foods and drinks and make sure that your child brushes their teeth or rinses their mouth with water after eating/drinking anything with high sugar content.
For younger babies and toddlers, a top-tip is to remove the bottle from their mouth when they fall asleep, as this can prevent bacteria from producing acids which cause tooth decay.
Provide your child with healthy foods and drinks
Providing your child with a healthy, nutritious diet is a recommended way of reducing their risk of tooth decay. Meals that include fruits, vegetables and whole grains are a great start, but be careful not to provide fruits that contain large quantities of natural sugar.
It’s also recommended to make sure that your child drinks water after eating high-sugar foods, rather than drinking drinks which are high in sugar. Water can help to clear the mouth of harmful sugars and protect the teeth against unwanted plaque.
Of course, dairy foods are great for children’s teeth, so make sure to pack plenty of cheese, milk and yoghurt into their diet.
Regular checking at home
Any important step of dental checkups is to regularly check at home, so checking your child’s teeth should be no exception.
Allowing your child to take control of their own dental hygiene is a great method of introducing independence, however, this can result in them missing out crucial steps or not brushing their teeth properly or for the full amount.
We recommend checking your child’s teeth on a weekly basis but checking more regularly for children who have a more independent approach to their dental hygiene.
If you see anything unusual, it’s highly recommended to book a dental appointment.
Take your child to the dentist for regular check-ups
Whilst we recommend having regular checkups at home, it’s also very important to have regular check-ups with your dentist. Studies have shown that the younger the age that you bring your child to the dental practice, the more likely they are to have a positive experience and grow up not to be afraid of the dentist.
It’s essential to have regular dental check-ups every six months, but if your child is having early signs of tooth decay, it’s worth booking more frequent dental appointments.
Our team will take special care of your child to make them feel safe and cared for.
Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth Today
So you’ve not been following these steps, or you’re just incredibly unlucky. Now what? Luckily Hermes London Dental Clinic can accommodate your emergency dental needs. The convenient Dentist in Victoria London will find you an appointment whether you’re a new or returning customer.
If you require an emergency dentist in Victoria, contact us on 020 7233 7660. Our dentists will see all emergency patients on the same day whenever possible, and you will be offered the next available appointment as soon as you call.