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Protecting your toddler’s dental health

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Increasing Tooth Decay in Toddlers

A shocking recent report has shown that one third of children now suffer from tooth decay. The British Dental Health Foundation is now working with the Infant and Toddler Forum to help raise awareness of the issue with health-care professionals, parents, carers, and guardians. Read on to discover how to protect your toddler’s teeth from the onslaught of negative, long-term repercussions on their dental health.

Little Buds into Acorns Grow

According to experts, one of the main reasons toddler tooth decay is on the rise is due to the general widespread misconception that milk teeth are expendable so parents and carers fail to look after them in the same way as the adult teeth. Sadly, failure to look after the milk teeth can result in tooth decay which may lead to premature loss of the milk teeth and subsequent overcrowding of the adult teeth.

How to look after your child’s teeth

We all know the saying, ‘monkey see, monkey do’. Likewise, whatever you teach your children from a young age, and whatever they see you do, they will copy and eventually imitate as second nature. Therefore as adults you have a responsibility to show your children how to look after their teeth from an early age.

As soon as your child breaks their first tooth brush it with a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Use a regular adult fluoride toothpaste and aim to avoid sweetened ‘kid’s’ toothpastes, as these are not as effective. Also, use an electric toothbrush as they are far more effective at removing plaque and stains than a manual toothbrush.

Choose the Right Foods

Common sense tells you to steer clear from sugary sweets and drinks, especially in between meals, and the same applies to your child. Sugary sweets, drinks and excessive citrus based foods and drinks, particularly in between meals, can lead to an excess build-up of natural acids on the surface of the teeth which are the chief cause of plaque and tooth decay. Encourage your child to drink milk and water and to snack on more alkaline food such as apples, cheese and breadsticks in between meals.

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