Tooth Decay and Children

Children are as prone to tooth decay as adults and sadly over the last few generations problems with kids’ teeth have been increasing. This goes hand in hand with the increase in obesity and general exposure to high sugar, acidic foods and drinks. However, over recent years, things are looking better, with a survey from Public Health England revealing that the number of 5 year olds with tooth decay has dropped to its lowest level in almost a decade, showing a 20% drop in cases since 2008.

Dr Sandra White, Director of Dental Public Health at PHE, said: “This is great news. However, one child with tooth decay is one too many and there is still much inequality in dental health around the country. Tooth decay is painful and too often results in teeth extraction, some under general anaesthetic.

This is further evidence that we can stop tooth decay in its tracks. Limiting sugary food and drink, supporting children to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and regular trips to the dentist, will help prevent a great many more children suffering at the hands of tooth decay.”

To help you to prevent tooth decay in your children, here are some tips:

  • If you have an infant, use a damp clean flannel to wipe over gums and keep them free from bacteria
  • Take a baby to the dentist around his first birthday and choose a dentist such as us who specialises in paediatric dentistry, as you want your child’s first experiences with a dentist to be the best they can be
  • Brush teeth as soon as they come through with a very soft brush and baby toothpaste, we know this isn’t always easy, but try to persevere
  • Don’t put a baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, as this can eat away at the enamel
  • Supervise teeth brushing until the age of 6 at least to make sure it is being done properly and encourage a rigid and thorough oral health routine from a young age, as this will set it up for the future.
  • Consider fluoride supplements, or preventative fluoride treatments at your dentist to toughen the enamel
  • Limit sweets, sugary foods and fruit juices, as these can all erode enamel and get kids to rinse their mouth or brush their teeth after eating them if they are having them from time to time. Watch out for the high sugar levels in fruit juice and smoothies, as these can be hidden sugars – find out more about sugar and tooth decay
  • Look out for signs of toothache or sensitivity and make sure that you take them to the dentist as soon as possible

MarDenta is a family friendly dentist in Marbella with very patient, kind and caring dentists with training and experience in caring for children’s teeth. We also have orthodontic specialists who can help with teeth alignment as they grow, guide them in how to care for their teeth at home and generally give them a great experience of the dentist. Make an appointment now…