Information for Parents
Brushing is key in maintaining healthy teeth. Not only does it remove remnants of food but dental plaque as well. Dental plaque is comprised of bacteria. The bacteria multiply and form a sticky mass that adheres to the teeth and produce aggressive acids. The acid attacks the enamel and initiates the decaying process.
Begin tooth cleaning as soon as the teeth appear. As the front teeth begin to emerge a finger brush, towel or a clean dry wash cloth can be used to remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Once your child has back teeth, an age appropriate toothbrush can be used to clean the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars). This should be done for 2 minutes twice a day.
Children’s teeth can grow in a crowded manner. The space between the teeth can be too narrow for the tooth brush causing food and plaque to get trapped. The back molars are especially at risk of trapped food and plaque resulting in tooth decay. To prevent the development of caries in between teeth, parents should start flossing their children’s teeth from an early age. Staff at Kids dental Sydney are happy to teach children how to use dental floss properly.
Nursing at will during the night while co-sleeping and milk bottles at bedtime are both prime causes of early Childhood Caries.
Avoid frequent exposures to sugar. Teeth need at least a two-hour rest period between snacks/meals. Sweet foods are best given at meal times when there is more saliva produced, rather than between meals. Saliva helps neutralise the effects of acid.
Cheese at the end of the meal also helps neutralise acid. Avoid sticky forms of sugar such as dried apricots, sultanas, honey, roll ups, lollies, etc. Encourage your child to drink tap water rather than cordial, juice or fizzy drinks.
Drink Tap Water
Fluoride is one of the most cost effective, safe and proven ways to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Sydney tap water is fluoridated. Encourage your child to drink tap water.