Government figures just released show that is 2016/17 tooth decay led to 43,000 hospital operations to remove children’s teeth. The media picked up the story and it received extensive coverage. Our clinical director Dr Ben Atkins was interviewed by the Huffington Post in this role as trustee of the Oral Health Foundation to provide advice for anxious parents looking to protect their children’s teeth from decay.
Dr Atkins’ 5 top tips to get children to engage with their oral health
1.) Too much sugar
Children are simply getting too much sugar on a daily basis. Adults may be getting the message about ‘hidden’ sugar in food and drink but children may struggle to understand that their favourite soft drink is full of sugar. showing children the equivalent teaspoons of sugar in a drink will make it much easier a child to understand, here is a link to help
2.) Get to know your dentist.
Establishing a good relationship between a child and a dentist is also really important because children are often more likely to listen to a dental professional talking to them about their oral health than they are to their mum or dad. Visiting the dentist regularly from birth means it’s not a scary event. It takes anxiety away from children and their parents alike.
3.) Supervision .
close supervision of children’s twice daily oral health routine is extremely important until they are 7 years of age, until the age of 7 children ars simply unable to effectively brush on their own
Simple things like reward charts for making healthy food choices and getting a toothbrush with their favourite character on work well too.
5.) Technology .
Technology is a great way of engaging children with brushing as well , there are loads of apps and mobile games that encourage good habits.