As a parent we want the best for our children and in regard to the health of their teeth it is important that we take a strong interest in the diet that we provide them. Natural sugars and added sugars can be found in many foods and drinks that we give to our children every day and tooth decay can begin as early as when they are getting their first teeth.
When we are bottle feeding it is important to be aware of the problems of giving sugary drinks in bottles.
Bottle caries is tooth decay in the baby’s first teeth caused by an infant being given a bottle with liquids containing sugar while they are going off to sleep.
These liquids can be milk, flavoured milk, formula, juices, soft drink and cordials.
At night salivary flow is decreased and the sugars in the liquids pool around the teeth. The sugar feeds the bacteria in the plaque which leads to tooth decay.
The best option if they are having those sugary drinks at bedtime is to gradually dilute the bottle with water over a period of 2 to 3 weeks so that when they go to sleep they are not having the sugary drinks pooling around their teeth at all to risk the start of decay.
Also try to avoid sugary foods by only providing it as “a treat” once in a while for special occasions.
Oral hygiene techniques can start before the first teeth start erupting, first with a soft cloth then moving to a small child’s toothbrush.
When brushing a child’s teeth in the first years use a small soft brush with water and then a pea size amount of a children’s toothpaste .
As they get older they will still need help until approximately 10 years old with brushing.
You can also start bringing your children for regular check ups from the age of 2 as it helps them to become familiar with the dental surgery and alleviates any fears they may have. It’s also great for children to come in regularly and see other family members joining in and having check ups as well.
Any concerns with their teeth please feel free to call and make an appointment to alleviate any worries you may have. Alternatively any appointments can be made online here.