With Halloween fast approaching, your child is likely to be consuming a few more sweets than normal! This can be slightly spooky for their teeth, as confectionary promotes bacteria in the form of plaque and tartar which stains your child’s teeth.
Our dentists have a substantial collective experience of looking after children’s teeth and oral hygiene and will always do their upmost to make your child feel at ease. We understand that your child’s first few visits to the dentist can be intimidating and we will always approach their consultations with patience and empathy.
A third of all children starting school have signs of tooth decay and tooth extractions are the most common reasons for children being admitted to hospital in the UK.
Brushing only once a day will make your child 33% more susceptible to tooth decay, so it’s important to introduce your child to a structured routine when it comes to brushing and flossing. It’s particularly important to brush thoroughly and soon after consuming confectionary, as bacteria start attacking teeth a mere 3 hours after the consumption of these foods. During Halloween, Christmas, Easter and birthdays, make sure your child takes extra care of their teeth.
Visits to the hygienist
Often overlooked by many parents, visits to the hygienist can be invaluable for your child, as a hygienist’s role is to perform what is known as a ‘scale and polish’ which is the removal of tenacious staining – the kind that cannot be removed with a toothbrush alone. Visits to the hygienist should be observed alongside visits to the dentist, as their roles differ. A dentist performs fillings for cavities and performs procedures to repair teeth, whilst a dental hygienist is responsible for deep cleaning your teeth, ensuring your oral hygiene is sustained. The latter can also provide information and at-home techniques on how to help your child keep their teeth in good health.
Preventative measures to take at home
Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. As previously mentioned, it takes only 3 hours for bacteria to start breaking down the protective coating on teeth, known as tooth enamel. This is why it is paramount to brush soon after consuming confectionary such as chocolate, sweets and sticky sweet foods such as caramel and toffee. Apples contain their fair share of natural sugars, but these are a great alternative to sweets or to consume after having eaten a few sweets. This is because when you eat an apple, it encourages the production of saliva which washes away the food particles and bacteria in the mouth – a bit like a natural mouthwash! Apples also have a fibrous texture which which can help stimulate the gums. So, if you have children knocking at your door trick or treating this Halloween, why not offer them an apple and a smaller amount of confectionary?
If you would like to arrange a check-up for your child, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Cornerhouse.