Blog - Nursery Talk
Looking after little teeth
It is important to keep children’s teeth as healthy as we can. Market Street Dental Practice share their top tips on when we should be heading to the dentist and reducing the impact of sugar on little teeth.
Preparing for the dentist
It is recommended that you brush your children’s gums with a soft toothbrush or muslin and boil water even before any milk teeth appear – this also puts in place a routine with you and your child of brushing twice a day.
Once milk teeth appear introduce a toothpaste – half a pea size for under threes and a pea sized amount for three to five-year olds.
Now your routine is in place, arrange a visit to the dentist, ensuring this is before their second birthday – here they will simply look into your child’s mouth to establish any problems, that you are reaching those tricky back teeth and to make sure all teeth are coming through nicely.
Dental check-ups in England are for free on the NHS for all children until the age of 18. One should have their teeth checked every 6 months.
Things you can do at home
Try to keep their sugar intake down to a minimum – this is a hard task since most things, even fruit have sugar in them.
If you do want to give your child a sugary treat do it straight after a meal when the PH level in the mouth can break down the sugar quickly.
Avoid snacks like crisps or biscuits; swap them for carrot or cheese sticks, or a nice refreshing cucumber.
Steer clear of fizzy drinks, chewy sweets and surprisingly white bread as this also contains sugar and if it gets stuck in your child’s teeth bacteria will cumulate causing cavities.
Keep sugar free squashes to a minimum and allow water and milk as an alternative.
Encourage children to snack on fruit and raw vegetables – bread sticks and crackers are also great. A little treat of chocolate now and again won’t hurt as it melts, just make sure you brush their teeth well before bed.
It is important to brush teeth as a very last thing before bed. If your child wants a drink after you brushed it should only be water.
And finally create a brushing chart – make it fun and not a chore.
Always supervise your child’s brushing but let them do it as well after you. It is very important to try brushing for 2 minutes and to encourage that, you can put their favourite song on and keep brushing until the song is finished.
Don’t rinse after brushing. Spit out the toothpaste but don’t rinse with water. It is important to let the fluoride settle on the teeth and do its prevention.
Here’s my toothpaste, Here’s my brush
I won’t hurry, I won’t rush.
Working hard to keep teeth clean, front and back and in between
When I brush for quite a while, I will have a happy smile.