Simple ways to ensure your children have healthy teeth with Ms Gehan Abou-Ameira
Why do we need to brush teeth?
Failure to maintain good mouth hygiene will lead to unhealthy gums, tooth decay, pain and infection. A decayed tooth will require a filling or it may need to be extracted. Plaque is a white sticky layer of bacteria which coats the teeth. When plaque mixes with sugar (form the foods we eat), it produces acid. This causes decay or ‘holes’ in the teeth.
To help protect your teeth:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and spit out afterwards rather than rinsing. Brushing should be supervised up to aged 7.
- Reduce the amount and frequency of sugar in your diet by having sugar free snacks and only drinking plain water or milk between meals.
- Ask your dentist about fluoride vanish (this is like super strength toothpaste) and protective plastic coatings on the back adult teeth.
- Brush your child’s tooth as soon as the first baby tooth appears. Make it fun by using a colourful brush.
- Ask about sugar free medication alternatives.
- Register your child with a dentist.
- Continue bottle feeding past 18 months.
- Bottle feed overnight.
- Add sugar to weaning foods.
- Drink fizzy drinks between mealtimes.
Fluoride toothpaste helps prevent decay. Look on the packaging for the fluoride concentration (written as “ppm”).
- Children under 3 years old: Use a smear layer of 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste.
- Children over 3 years old: Use a pea sized amount of 1500ppm fluoride toothpaste.
What does the dental department at GOSH do?
- We treat a variety of patients with different needs including oncology, cleft lip and palate and other complex medical conditions.
- We have dentists who are specialists in paediatric dentistry, orthodontics and restorative dentistry and work alongside our maxillofacial surgery colleagues.