It’s never too early to start taking precautions to protect your children from tooth decay. We recommend regular check-ups from the age of one and we love welcoming children to the practice. We adopt a gentle and understanding approach and we try to make every second fun!
About tooth decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common preventable illnesses in children. It is caused by bacteria and can be prevented with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet.
Bacteria in the mouth join together with food debris and saliva to form plaque, which is a soft and sticky substance, which clings to the teeth and causes irritation of the gums and damage to the enamel. Plaque is the leading risk factor for decay and gum disease, but it can be removed from the mouth very easily by brushing and flossing.
Symptoms of tooth decay include tooth pain, sensitivity and the formation of holes in the enamel, which are known as cavities; sometimes it is possible to see cavities and you can usually feel them when you run your tongue over the surface of the tooth.
Preventing tooth decay
We encourage parents to teach their children good oral hygiene habits from an early age and to supervise teeth cleaning once children are old enough to use a toothbrush properly. We know that cleaning your teeth is not the most fun activity, but we recommend putting on some music to brush along to or making up fun games to get kids involved.
Diet plays a really important role in children’s oral health and we recommend limiting children’s sugar consumption. Milk and water are the best drinks for children, while sweets, chocolates and biscuits should be restricted and given as treats, rather than forming a major part of the diet. Eating between meals is particularly harmful for the tooth enamel, so we strongly recommend avoiding sugary treats and acidic drinks, such as fruit juices, between meals.
We also recommend dental check-ups for children. Seeing a dentist not only ensures that any problems are dealt with early, it also allows children to get used to the dental clinic.