Prevent Tooth Decay - Here's How
Too many children know the pain of tooth decay but prevention hurts far less than the cure.
We all know the main culprits for preschoolers' tooth decay - fruit juice, sweets, dried fruit. On top of this, parents struggle to get their children's teeth brushed properly, as preschoolers are notorious for wanting to chew the toothbrush, rather than brushing their teeth. The need for good teeth-cleaning habits starts as soon as the first baby teeth pop out. Here's the latest advice on how to improve your family's oral health:
Did you know?
✨ Children need help cleaning their teeth until the age of eight or nine. Lack of manual dexterity makes it too hard for littlies to reach to the back and get around all the nooks and crannies, says dental science liaison for Johnson's Pacific, Angela Fundak.
✨ If you're eating chocolate it's best to eat the whole bar all at once, rather than nibbling at it over several hours. This limits the exposure to decay-causing sugar and your saliva will help reduce the damage afterwards.
✨ Milk has lactose (ie milk sugar) in it so getting your toddler off to sleep with a bottle in her mouth won't be good for her teeth.
✨ The use of inhalers for asthma symptoms can cause oral problems as the steroids dry out the mouth. It's best to rinse out the mouth immediately after using an inhaler. Regular use of medications containing sugar also pose a risk.
✨ The casein in cheese has a neutralising effect in the mouth, and can help rebalance the pH levels, thus reducing the risk of decay.
✨ Plain soda water lowers the pH in the mouth, creating an acidic environment that leads to de-mineralising of the teeth.
✨ Avoid using adult toothbrushes on little children's teeth - they're too big and unwieldy for small mouths.
Try these techniques to get the kids happily brushing:
✨ Tickle the teeth: Use the toothbrush to find where the ticklish teeth are.
✨ Sing a song: Have a special song for the teeth-cleaning routine.
✨ Download an app: Macleans has launched the Nurdle Time app where Nurdle characters encourage and "reward" good teeth-cleaning. It also has a two-minute timer. It's free from the Apple and Android app stores.
✨ Do it in the bath: You might brush the toys' "teeth" as well, to show that everyone has to clean their teeth.
✨ Take turns: Let your toddler have a go and then you have a go to make sure it's done properly.
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 19 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW