Category Archives: Children’s Dental

Avoid Chocolate Chaos this Easter

Easter eggs on the supermarket shelves, community hunt Easter eggs hiding in the park … Easter eggs are everywhere it seems.

Most people, adults and children alike, wouldn’t say no to a sweet succulent slab of chocolate but at this time of year, we stock up with smooth round egg shells with soft, chewy surprises inside.

Whether your chocolate of choice is milk, white or dark, take a minute to consider the impact it has on your teeth and oral healthcare this Easter.

Whilst dark chocolate is often considered the healthier form of chocolate, the majority of options still contain sugar. And where there is sugar, there is the risk of tooth decay. In fact, due to recent reports, we now know just how destructive sugary foods and drinks can be with over 40,000 children and teenagers having rotten teeth removed in 2016 through the NHS.

Too much chocolate encourages bacteria to grow faster and sugar actually combines with bacteria to form an acid, which then attacks teeth enamel and causes tooth decay.

It’s important to allow the environment of your mouth to return to normal (usually within an hour) after consuming sugary foods before you brush your teeth to further protect them. Tooth enamel can be damaged by brushing too soon because the acid also acts as a softening agent, making the surface of your teeth more vulnerable.

So, before you crack open the chocolate eggs, Buttons, Smarties, chewy caramels and mouth-watering fudge, remember to THINK TEETH before your tuck in and follow our top seven tips to healthier teeth at Easter:

  1. Brush your teeth before you consume chocolate to act as a protection barrier
  2. Eat your treats after meals or during one interval only and do not graze – allow your mouth time to balance its environment
  3. Rinse your mouth after eating
  4. Leave at least thirty minutes after eating before you brush
  5. Drink a glass of water to increase saliva – your mouth’s natural defense – to neutralise acid
  6. Nibble a small piece of cheese after a meal or sugary treats to help neutralise acid
  7. Substitute Easter confectionary with sugar-free alternatives

 

May we wish all our patients a very Happy Easter and remember THINK TEETH and stay oral healthy.

Tips to encourage children to clean their teeth

Every parent knows the importance of a good routine for their child when cleaning their teeth but the practicalities of doing this can often be difficult. Children can be stubborn and awkward when it comes to having their teeth cleaned so sometimes you need to think outside of the box to encourage them to do so.

Here are a few tips that you might find useful:

1. Cleaning your teeth at the same time as your child is often a good approach. Children love to emulate grownups so if you are able to establish a routine where you clean your teeth at the same time, there’s a good chance that your child will want to copy you.

2. Use brightly coloured toothbrushes and toothpaste that is specially designed for children. Children respond better to fun and vibrant colours and are more likely to want to use them.

3. Establish a routine with your child and keep to it. For example, a routine might be something like bath, pyjamas, clean teeth and then bedtime story. The more you can establish this routine, your child will get used to cleaning their teeth as part of the process.

4. Give your child a sense of independence by letting them have their own brush to start cleaning with and then you can finish the job. You can make this into a game and set a time limit for them to clean their teeth before you help them. The more fun you can inject into the process the less of a chore it will be.

Perseverance is the key when brushing your children’s teeth so by making the process fun, interactive and as part of a normal routine, you can encourage your children to get into good teeth cleaning habits.

For more advice about oral health then please contact Bhandal Dental Practice. We would be happy to help.

Looking After Your Children’s Teeth : The Story of a Concerned Parent.

As a parent of 2 small children I considered myself reasonably aware of the “do’s and don’ts” in relation to keeping them healthy and active, particularly when it came to their diets and making good choices about food.

We considered ourselves to be health conscious parents. Sweets were given on very rare occasions and usually by grandparents when we weren’t looking as they perceived our restrictions boarding abusive!

Our daughter believed dried fruit and yoghurt covered dried strawberries to be sweets. Snacks were chopped carrots, cucumber and grapes. Yoghurts were a regular addition to treats as they were full of calcium. No fruit shoots, juices or fizzy pops were allowed and flavoured water or diluted squash were the drinks of choice alongside water.

We believed we’d got it pretty sussed until my eldest daughter started to experience discomfort in her teeth.

After x- Rays it became apparent that she had a condition which meant her teeth were crumbling. We were later informed by the hospital that this was as a result of illness when the teeth we’re coming through. Alongside this when we discussed her diet a lot of the foods she had been eating were high in sugars which had also impacted on her poor teeth.dental-check-ups

The grapes she grazed on throughout the day we were told should be avoided due to causing plaque build up. Although I must add there is still conflicting advice around fruit for parents but it appears grazing is not good and any snacks should be once -twice a day only and eaten in one sitting and not grazed on.

Yoghurts and dried fruit too were high in sugar content, but I think I was most surprised in the amount of sugar in flavoured water. Up to 8 teaspoons of sugar! We’d been massively mislead by so called healthy alternatives.

I will be honest we came out of the dentist devastated and feeling like we’d failed to care for our daughters teeth. After much researching and discussion with our dentist we felt better informed but we had to re learning all we believed about healthy eating and be more aware of sugar content in foods.

For us as a family we didn’t want to spend hours in supermarkets reading food labels so instead we decided to eat more whole natural foods, avoiding grazing on any fruits but equally remember that our children were children and treats were given but not over indulged upon or given daily.

Our experience is not a unique one but we felt it important to talk about our it in an attempt to offer reassurances to other parents and share the lessons we have learnt.

Thank you Mrs Sue Denim for your feedback.