When it comes to dental caries in children, there are three main contributing factors that compound the problem; their poor diet, inadequate at-home oral hygiene practices such as poor brushing and the consumption of sugar-laden drinks.
Due to these concerning influences, children in the UK are losing their milk teeth from as young as five years old. According to the latest report, figures released indicate that 33,815 children (some as young as two) require milk teeth to be surgically removed in hospital. In many cases these children have up to 18 milk teeth extracted. Needless to say, such alarming statistics have dental practitioners in an uproar.
Tell-tale signs of milk teeth decay to look out for
Parents should look out for visible signs of decay, such as brown spots on milk teeth, that raise the alarm of cavities present in the mouth. Often this sign may mean there is little a dental practitioner can do to save milk teeth that have been left to decay. This is one of the major reasons why dental practitioners advise of the critical importance of children’s visits to a dentist Navan for a professional dental check-up. These all-important appointments are vital, as a dental practitioner can implement preventive measures to protect oral health – visits that help children inculcate positive dental behaviours that they take into adulthood.
The impact of the loss of a child’s milk teeth is a huge concern, influencing the quality of life they live, as it gives rise to a number of additional dental problems experienced. One such problem is the gap left by a lost milk tooth opens the way for permanent teeth to grow in the wrong position, necessitating future treatments such as orthodontics.
Another concern is how the unpleasant experience of tooth extraction can impact a child’s willingness to visit the dentist again, which puts at risk their dental health. These unpleasant memories of visits to the dental clinic are one of the causes of dental anxiety that prevents many adults from seeking proper professional dental care.
How parents can best protect their children’s teeth
Dental practitioners have long advocated that dental disease such as tooth decay is almost always preventable – in up to 99 per cent of cases. This is excellent news for parents who want to protect their children’s teeth from rot.
To ensure their children’s teeth are healthy, there are measures dentists recommend parents to implement. At the top of the list are in-clinic visits that allow a reliably qualified dentist to make absolutely sure that a child has good dental health and there is no cause for alarm. Other equally important measures advised by The Oral Health Foundation are given below.
An adult should always be present during the teeth brushing routine to ensure the child is performing this act correctly.
Brushing should be done twice a day (one of these times should be just before going to bed) with a suitable toothbrush specifically manufactured for children, along with a fluoride-friendly toothpaste brand recommended by a dental practitioner.
Limit the frequency of snacks consumed
Reduce the amount of excessive sugar in children’s diet by substituting unhealthy food choices for approved healthier options (whole fruits instead of sweets and biscuits and milk or water instead of sugar-sweetened soft drinks).
Parents can save their children from the harrowing experience of a dental extraction by scheduling regular dental check-ups with their friendly dentist to ensure the oral health of their children’s teeth.