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Oral health for children

Oral Health For Children

Teaching your child proper oral care at a young age is an investment in his or her dental health that will minimise tooth destruction and give them a smile to be proud of through to adulthood. You can set a good example by taking care of your own teeth, sending out the message that oral health is something to be valued. Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups and a visit to the hygienist. It may take a few appointments before we actually do any treatment on your child to enable them to become familiar with us and the surroundings. We will take one step at a time and move forward when they are happy to.
We hope that they will find there visit to the dentist an enjoyable one and not a scary one! We have seen many children who have had been really frightened due to bad experiences or are just scared of the unknown but we have helped them to overcome their fears as we can give them the time and the tender loving care that they need.

Oral Hygeine Basics

Brushing

• Children need to brush their teeth at least twice a day just like adults
• Using a soft bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular motion, at an angle and along the gum margin. Brush along the inside surfaces, the outer surfaces and finally gently brush back and forth along the biting surfaces of each tooth.
• Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, ensuring that your child does not swallow any as this can cause fluorosis (permanent white speckles on the teeth).
• Make brushing fun by using products such as disclosing tablets, these tablets dissolve in the mouth fluorescently colouring any areas where there is a build up of plaque, showing your child where they are missing with their toothbrush.
• Tooth brushing should be supervised to the age of 8 years.

Diet and Nutrition

A well balanced diet is necessary for your child to develop strong, decay-resistant teeth. A diet high in sugars will feed plaque bacteria which in turn will convert the sugars to acids. These acids will attack the teeth and cause tooth destruction. This is called an acid attack and can last up to 20 minutes after a meal or snack has been finished for the PH in your mouth to get back to normal and for your teeth to be safe again. Therefore, limiting the frequency of these acid attacks is essential in preventing tooth decay. Just imagine if you suck on a sweet or drink a sugary drink every 20 minutes, then your teeth are constantly getting attacked and it will not be long before enough damage is done to cause a cavity. This is why we ask that if you are going to have sugary drinks or snacks then try to limit them to mealtimes only.

A well balanced diet will include 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day and snacking in between meals should be avoided especially sugary products. Fruits do contain sugars, however fruit is really good for you in many other ways so ensure that fruit is a main factor in your diet but limit its consumption to mealtimes only. Try to avoid high acid/citrus fruits such as lemons as these can soften your teeth. The diet also needs to consist of the following nutrients:

* Some carbohydrates
* Essential fatty acids (found in fats)
* Essential amino acids (found in proteins)
* 15 vitamins
* 25 minerals
* Water

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