If getting a call from the school nurse can be unnerving, clinic hearing that your [...]
Top tips on taking care of your grandchildren’s teethCreated by genevieve in Age: At School, Age: Baby & Toddler, Health and Safety
I am so saddened to see the latest figures for children’s dental decay; three in ten children start school with at least one cavity.
With the pressures of daily life as they are, I wanted to give you some simple facts and advice as to why the odd sweetie treat may be doing more damage than you think. I would really like to help you to take as much care of your grandchildren’s teeth as possible while they are in your care.
The facts about fillings
There are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people living on our planet. They love breeding in the lovely snug niche where the tooth meets the gum, 360 degrees around the tooth. Most of these are harmless, but without the correct brushing everyday (2 minutes 2 times a day, most important at bedtime) these bacteria become harmful. They take the sugar we eat and they turn it into acid. That acid attacks the hard surface of the teeth and creates a hole. The bacteria invade this hole and unless protected from your toothbrush, the hole gets deeper and deeper. This is a dental cavity and it will eventually need a filling.
As I have mentioned, every time you eat sugar, bacteria uses it to create acid. It takes the average mouth 30 mins to recover from this attack, the saliva eventually neutralizes it. If your grandchild has a sugar-coated cereal for breakfast, fruit for a snack, a drink of squash, a chocolate bar or a yoghurt at lunch and perhaps raisins on the way home with a drink of squash and then flavoured crisps, sweets or chocolate and another sugary drink and then dinner with a sugary pudding, then another sugary drink before bed, your grandchildren’s teeth are being attacked by acid for about half of their waking day and that is assuming that all the bits from the food do not stick to the tooth surface!
In addition to good but not complete tooth brushing this WILL cause dental decay and this sugary snacking will become a habit for most of the child’s juvenile life span. It is important to remember that the first adult tooth erupts into a child mouth at just 6 years old. We are now living to over 80 so this tooth needs to be healthy for over 70 years!
Top tips for your grandchildren
Fortunately we can follow this simple advice and help our grandchildren keep their teeth a life time.
- Only drink water or milk between meals. Juice and squash have equally harmful effects, however diluted they are. Treat your grandchild to whatever drink they like with meals.
- If your grandchild is a constant snacker, you must substitute that snack for something healthy and sugar free. Carrot sticks, plain crackers, cucumber sticks, pitta bread with humous, cheese sticks, or nuts. Ask them if they are hungry or thirsty? Try a glass of water or milk instead.
- Sweetie day! Hooray. My children know sweetie day is Friday and they can eat as many disgustingly yummy sweeties on a Friday and they give it a good go. We only have one day in our house as nearly every Saturday or Sunday there is a party and a party bag!
- Tooth brushing 2 minutes 2 times a day with an age appropriate fluoride toothpaste. Children should be using an adult toothpaste from about 6 years old. Make sure they spit out the toothpaste and DON’T rinse.