How to Look After Your Child’s Teeth

Content originally from  Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System

Looking after yours and your child’s teeth is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you keep your mouth and gums healthy. In theory, tooth care should be quite simple – don’t allow babies or children to have sugary things too often and make sure their teeth are brushed well twice a day for two minutes. In practice, it’s not that easy, the way sugary products are advertised and promoted can make it difficult to limit them. Although it’s not always easy, you should get your child into good habits at an early age.
Here are the four most effective ways to improve oral health:  
Healthy eating and drinking  
Regular toothbrushing  
Adopting a healthier lifestyle  
Visiting a dentist regularly 

Visit the dentist early  
It is advised you should take your child to the dentist before they reach the age of one, to familiarise them with the environment and surroundings. Children under 18 should then be seen by a dentist at least once a year.
Find Your Local Dentist

Brush those teeth for 2 minutes! As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, parents should brush their baby’s teeth in the morning and last thing before bed. Use a family fluoride toothpaste that has levels of between 1000-1450 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Check the tube for fluoride content. Adults and children should spit not rinse after brushing with a fluoride toothpaste for maximum effectiveness.The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry has lined up a great team to help make toothbrushing fun for families. Meet Dr Ranj, Hey Duggee, CBeebies and Brush DJ. Choose a video and be inspired to look after your teeth! 

A Practical Guide for Children’s Teeth
Healthy eating and drinking
Providing a healthy, balanced diet and limiting sugary food and drinks to mealtimes only is key to good oral health.Try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water instead of giving fizzy drinks. Remember to dilute squashes well to reduce the sugar content in the drink. Diet versions of fizzy drinks also contain very few nutrients. Milk or water are much healthier choices, especially for children.Introducing just one or two swaps can really make a difference and go a long way to making each day healthier – but the more you make, the better!

Take a Look at these Food Swaps
Download the Change4life Sugar Smart app for FREE.
The app works by scanning barcodes and revealing total sugar in cubes or grams. It has been developed to raise awareness of how much sugar is contained in everyday food and drink. The app offers a quick guide to help parents to assess potential purchases that may harm their children’s health.

Free NHS Dental Treatment if You’re Pregnant You’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment if you’re pregnant when you start your treatment and for 12 months after your baby is born. To get free NHS dental treatment, you must have: a MATB1 certificate issued by your midwife or GP a valid prescription maternity exemption certificate (MatEx) 

Contact your local dentist to book an appointment.