A recent report has found that more than a quarter of children under the age of five have tooth decay, and most of these have cavities in an average of between three and four teeth. These figures come even though oral health care has improved over the last few years. The study was carried out by Public Health England, and surveyed 133,000 children. Even though these figures sound shocking, overall the levels of tooth decay have declined, and the proportion of children with untreated decay has fallen.
If you have young children then you are encouraged to bring them to visit a dentist in Leeds, so we can check to see that their teeth are developing normally and that they do not have any issues with dental decay. Some parents do underestimate the importance of milk or baby teeth, and think that because they are replaced in just a few years there is no real need to take care of them. This could not be further from the truth, as these milk teeth are every bit as important, and deserve just as much care as adult teeth. In addition it is much better to get children into the habit of looking after their teeth as soon as possible, rather than neglecting oral health until their adult teeth have erupted.
Your child’s milk teeth are essential for making sure:
- Your child can eat a varied diet without the pain and discomfort caused by rotting or decayed teeth
- They can learn to speak clearly, so they can easily communicate with others
- Their adult teeth erupt normally, as milk teeth hold open the correct amount of space for the adult teeth
We know it can sometimes be a bit of a battle to clean young children’s teeth, but is so important to persevere. You do need to clean your children’s teeth for them until they are aged six or seven, and even then it is worth making sure they are supervised and that they clean their teeth thoroughly.
There are various things you can do to help make the task more interesting so it eventually becomes a habit that is deeply ingrained. For example make sure you buy them child oriented dental products, such as themed toothbrushes and toothpaste that is especially made for children. Electric or battery toothbrushes make tooth cleaning more fun, and have the added advantage of having timers that enable your child to time themselves as those two minutes are easy to overestimate. If they use a manual toothbrush then invest in a timer that can be kept in the bathroom; you can even get fun shaped timers, for example in the shape of a tooth, to help encourage them to use it. Flossing is another important part of the routine, and once again make sure you buy floss they are able to easily use, and which doesn’t feel uncomfortable or too thick.
Of course, regular dental visits with Dr David Brown or another dentist in Leeds are essential. Leeds City Dentalcare is used to treating younger patients, and will do everything possible to put your child at their ease as we want to encourage them to visit a dentist regularly right throughout their life. You’ll also find we can give you lots of useful information and help on caring for your child’s teeth, keeping their smile healthy right into adulthood.