Our Clapham children’s dentist explains why parents must take responsibility.
A report out today has shown that there has been a rise in the number of children needing to have teeth extracted in hospitals, from last year (see link below).
In 2016 to 2017, 43,000 children had teeth removed; the large majority of which would almost certainly have been completely avoidable.
No one likes to see their children suffer, yet, as parents, we allow children to consume vast quantities of sugar each year, not only in sweets, but also in convenience foods and especially fizzy drinks. It is the popularity of these drinks, along with high sugar fruit juices, that are thought to play a large part in these figures.
What can we do?
As parents, we need to be more proactive in watching what our children eat and drink. This does not necessarily mean banning sugar from the diet altogether, but being careful about the amount they consume. Sweets and similar products should be kept only for special occasions, with possibly non food rewards used as an alternative.
Even if we do manage to minimise their sugar intake, we also need to make sure that they have good dental care and this begins at home.
Young children are rarely enthusiastic about brushing their teeth, especially at bedtime when they are tired. The chances are that, left to their own devices, they will brush them until their mouths feel fresher; often just a few seconds. It is important then, that we watch our children whilst they brush their teeth, until they are old enough to do so properly themselves.
Make sure that they have an effective toothbrush that is no more than three months old. The use of cartoon character or similar brushes may help to encourage them. You should make sure that they brush for at least two minutes, and that is two minutes of actual brushing and not the bits in between where they tell you about what happened at school etc. Also, do make sure that they use an appropriate fluoride toothpaste as this will help to strengthen the enamel on their teeth.
From around their first birthday, all children should see a dentist on a six monthly basis. Doing so will help to prevent many problems such as tooth decay. Even if they need to have a filling or two, it may encourage them to think twice about what they eat!
The children’s dentist at the Confidental Clinic is excellent with young patients, as is our dental hygienist who is an ideal person to explain to them more about looking after their teeth. With a bit of external influence, it is likely that children will look after their teeth better than before, and, with this type of care, we would hope to see those hospital figures start to rapidly decrease.
If you would like to make an appointment for your child to see one of our Clapham dentists, whether private or NHS, please call the Confidental Clinic today on 020 7801 9060.