Post in collaboration with The Centre for Advanced Dentistry Yorkshire
Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be a real chore, but looking after your children’s teeth is very important. I remember as a child I hated brushing my teeth, and would skip it as often as I could get away with. Unfortunately, I’m paying for that now as an adult. In my teenage years I smoked, drank too much cola and didn’t brush my teeth enough. It’s only as I got older that I’ve realised the damage I’d been doing to my teeth by not having a good oral hygiene routine. Now I’m in and out of the dentist to get fillings, and my teeth are a little yellow. Now that I’m a parent, I want to make sure my children don’t follow in my foot steps.
It’s important to get children in to the habit of looking after their teeth from a young age. Establishing a good dental hygiene routine early on sets them up for the rest of their lives.
- Start young – Brushing should start as soon as the first tooth comes through, usually around six months. You can get soft tooth brushes just for babies gums, and special tooth brushes that older babies can hold themselves and chew.
- Pick the right tooth paste – Brushing twice a day with fluoride tooth paste is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Children under six need at least 1000ppm fluoride, so be sure to check the label. Children seven and older can use a small amount of the normal family tooth paste.
- Getting the right brush – Take your child to the supermarket with you and let them choose their own tooth brush. Children’s tooth brushes come in a range of colours and designs, and letting them pick something fun looking can hep encourage them to brush.
- Make it fun – Teeth should be brushed twice a day, for two minutes. Get an egg timer, or download a fun app and let the countdown begin.
- Supervise – With young children, you can brush for them or guide their hand when they brush themselves. Always supervise to make sure they are brushing currently, and for the correct amount of time.
- Visit the dentist – Visit the dentist regularly to for a check up. Start visiting the dentist as soon as your child’s first teeth come through, and have regular check up’s throughout childhood. Sometimes despite a good oral care routine, children may need extra help in the form of braces. Clinics like The Centre for Advanced Dentistry Yorkshire can provide orthodontic help if needed.
What top tips do you have for looking after your children’s teeth? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.