9 simple steps to get children to look after their teeth

13 June 2018

Dear friend,

Did you know that record numbers of children are having tooth extractions?

There are record numbers of under-fives having rotten teeth removed in hospitals and even babies and toddlers are having their milk teeth removed according to a report released by the Royal College of Surgeons in March 2017. Milk, fruit snacks, and sweetened baby food is partly to blame. Dentists say that this Health Crisis is wholly preventable and parents should ensure that they monitor children's brushing habits until the age of eight. 

We were recently shocked when our dentist found my boys teeth were stained and recommended that they have a tooth brushing lesson with the dental nurse so I did some research and came up with the following 9 simple steps to get your children to look after their teeth.

1. Start them early
Take your little ones along to the dentist with you so they get used to the room and meet the dentist. Our dentist let the boys ride in the chair.

2. Make it fun
You can get some great tooth brushes now that play tunes or light up. Brush to music or make brushing a game. Read stories about teeth or there are apps which you can use.

3. Have teeth friendly snacks
Most parents know that chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits are filled with tooth-damaging sugar but seemingly innocent, natural foods such as raisins, oranges and dates are also packed with decay-causing acid that can damage your child’s teeth.

4. Get them involved
Let them choose their own brush and try a range of toothpastes until they find one they prefer.

5. Be a good role model
Brush your teeth together.

6. Choose a good dentist
Our son has ASD we had to find a dentist who would understand his sensitivity to smell, touch and taste.

7. Make it part of their routine
Routine is really important to children. Try to stick to the routine. One good tip is not to leave teeth cleaning until too late when children are over tired.

8. Bribery
OK, I am not suggesting bribery (I believe in intrinsic rewards) but now and then a little reward, letting them wear their favourite pyjamas or reading them their favourite story can't hurt.

9. Be patient
Don't rush tooth brushing to get them into bed. Allow plenty of time.

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