Making sure your children grow up with healthy teeth should be the easiest thing in the world, right? The trouble is that parents today are under pressure as never before when trying to do the right thing. With sweet temptations at every turn, just what can you do to look after your child’s teeth?

Start Early
The healthy teeth habit should start as early as possible in a child’s life and that means establishing a regular routine, ideally from the appearance of the child’s very first milk teeth. Use a tiny amount of regular fluoride toothpaste and a very small, soft brush to brush baby’s teeth. Fluoride is the active ingredient in toothpaste which helps to prevent tooth decay. Make it fun too to establish tooth brushing as something to be enjoyed, thus making sure the habit will continue as they grow.

Teach Your Child How to Brush Properly
While the child is still very young, say up to age of 7 or 8, they will need to be supervised every time they brush their teeth. Stand them in front of a mirror so they can see what they are doing and, in the early days, use your hand to guide theirs so that they learn the correct way to brush – how hard and which direction to brush and so on. Use an egg timer or their favourite song to time them for around two minutes. Teach them to avoid rinsing out excessively as this will wash away too much of the protective fluoride. You may have to choose a toothpaste for them which has a mild, pleasant taste to help with this. Make sure they brush twice a day, once in the morning and again before bedtime. It is important to teach your child never to share toothbrushes to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria.

Make a Friend of Your Dentist
Like brushing the teeth, visits to the dentist are something which should be done from an early age. From the first appearance of your child’s milk teeth, a dentist in Stockport can identify and rectify any problems as they appear and offer advice on correct brushing technique. Equally importantly, these early visits, especially to a friendly, family-run dental practice, will help your child to learn that visits to the dentist are nothing to worry about.

Watch What They Eat
We all love treats – sweet or otherwise – and it would be a dull world indeed if we were to deny ourselves everything we love. When children are growing however it is important to limit the amount of harmful, sugary snacks and drinks to avoid early decay, tooth loss and lifelong consequences. Some sugary foods and drinks are obvious and include:

·      Cakes, chocolates, sweets and biscuits
·      Fizzy drinks
·      Sugary cereals and cereal bars
·      Flavoured milks and some yoghurts
·      Jams, preserves and fruit in syrup

There are plenty of food and drink products that have hidden sugars too, such as bottled and packet sauces and processed foods like ready meals and desserts. Step carefully through the sugar minefield, read labels to find the sugar content and limit the high sugar content products to occasional treats. 

Why is Sugar So Bad?
Simply put, the bacteria in the mouth breaks down the sugar in food and drink and this creates acid which then starts to dissolve the surface of the tooth. This is why sugary food and drinks are considered to be the main cause of tooth decay.

By following this advice and scheduling regular check-up appointments you can be sure that your child will grow up to have healthy, problem-free teeth.