Looking after our children’s teeth

Diet and our teeth

From the moment your children’s teeth start to poke through their gums, it is important to start setting up good practices to keep their teeth and gums healthy. While the baby teeth are a trial run as we have adult teeth to still come through at a later date, ensuring the health of the baby teeth is a good way of making sure that their adult teeth will follow suit.

When do I need to start brushing my child's teeth?

Dentists recommend that you should start brushing your child’s teeth from the day the very first tooth pokes through their gums. Initially this can be using a wet face washer or a small soft tooth brush and just water.

A low fluoride toothpaste is usually introduced from about 18 months of age.

What Is the Correct Way to Brush Teeth?

How does what my child eats effect their dental health?

Trying to ensure that your child has a well balanced diet, including foods from all core food groups is essential for good health, as well as good dental health.

In recent years, the rates of tooth decay in children has increased and the experts are blaming this on children’s increased consumption of sugar drinks and snacks .

If your child consumes too much sugar, it can cause their teeth to become weak and lead to the formation of cavities (little wholes in their teeth which can cause a lot of pain or infections).

Sugary drinks

Sugary Snacks

What has also come to light in recent years though (although no doubt been known by dentists for a long time) is that foods that are highly acidic are also very harmful to our teeth, and those of our children. Acidic foods can directly damage the enamel (the protective coating) on our teeth causing dental erosion.

Usually, the saliva produced in our mouth while we eat will help to protect our teeth by washing away the sugars and neutralising the acids, but some foods contain more acid than our saliva is able to control.

Highly Acidic Foods

Are All Fresh and Unprocessed Foods Safe For Our Teeth?

Some fruits can be acidic enough to cause dental erosion too.

Acidic fruits

If your child loves these fruits, do not fear. Just make sure that they include them as part of a meal or that they follow them up with something protective like a slice of cheese.

Dentists also recommend to limit the number of times your child is exposed to sugary or acidic foods each day. The best way to do this is to have set meal and snack times rather than letting your children graze all day long. By having large breaks between meals and snack times, your child’s mouth can return to its resting pH, minimising the amount of time their teeth are in a potentially harmful environment.

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