Thinking that you don’t need to worry about your children’s teeth until their adult ones come through? Then think again. Read these government statistics on decay in children’s teeth to find out why:
- 25% of children aged 5 have tooth decay, often in three or four teeth;
- Almost 8,000 children aged six and under have had to have teeth extracted in hospital;
- In 2012-13, tooth decay was the most common reason for children going into hospital;
- In 2014-15, 63,000 children aged up to 19 went into hospital for tooth extractions.
While the decay issue is worse in the North, in 2015, 20% of five-year-olds in the South East had tooth decay.
Not even going into how much money this costs the NHS, let’s look at what tooth decay means for your children.
Teeth problems for life
Decay doesn’t sit still, it moves through the tooth and it can jump from tooth to tooth too. It can jump sideways to neighbouring teeth, but it can also get into the adult teeth that are sitting behind decaying milk teeth, waiting to come through. Not taking children’s dentistry seriously can give children dental problems for life.
Teach them how to brush
Children get more decay than adults because there is a lot more sugar in their diets: snacks, juices (acid and sugar is a sure-fire decay-causing combination) and sweets. They also have not yet mastered the skills and habits to make them diligent brushers. Brushing the back teeth well is hard to master, as is standing still at a sink for two minutes twice a day. Boring! Even for adults.
The hygienist at Crofts Dental Practice in Essex can make tooth brushing education fun.
Treatments to keep teeth safe
We can help protect your children’s teeth against decay with fluoride treatments to mineralise the teeth. We can also paint fissure sealants onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to provide a barrier against the acids that cause decay.
What you can do
Start bringing your children in to see us as young as possible and teach them that visiting the dentist is a positive experience, to help them create lifelong good habits for their teeth.