As a parent you are a role model, so you are the person who your child models when it comes to taking on good habits. This relates to just about everything in life, including caring for teeth. With just a small amount of assistance you may be able to help your child avoid problems with their teeth and mouth.
Allow your child to eat sweets in moderation
Most children have a craving for sweets. Research has indicated that this is because as children grow they search for food that’s high in calories. This helps to accelerate their growth. In early days the calories required were far harder to find and the only source was embedded in natural products like fruit and honey. Today, sugar is in many day to day products like fizzy drinks, sweets, biscuits and cakes. There is a tendency for a parent to put these products on the table without really thinking of the possible consequences.
Once a child has got used to this everyday occurrence he or she sees it as normal but slowly the consequences reveal themselves. These consequences include obesity and reversible tooth decay. There is a simple answer to this problem and that is not to completely eliminate sweets and other products from your child’s diet. Try to avoid offering them as rewards for good behaviour, or even packing sweetened drinks and other sweet products in your child’s lunch box.
Good substitutes for your child’s lunch box
It may seem to be going a little too far but for the sake of your children’s teeth you should introduce a piece of fruit like an apple, a tangerine or a banana into their daily lunch box. Also, sticks of carrots and slices of cucumber offer a good alternative. Good old plain water is far better than a sweet fizzy drink.
Fizzy drinks should be limited
There are 2 main reasons why these drinks should be avoided. The first is they contain far too much sugar and secondly they contain acid, which assists in accelerating the erosion of the outer hard enamel layer, which is used to cut, bite and chew.
Milk is okay, but smoothies are not
Apart from water, which doesn’t need to be limited, milk is okay for a child over 12 months, preferably the full fat variety. However, even fruit juices without any added sugar should be limited, as they contain damaging acid and sugar. This applies to smoothies as well. One 150 ml glass each day is considered enough. If your child is feeling thirsty a nice cool glass of water should be offered. Don’t send your child off to bed with a sweetened drink or a smoothie as this is the time of day where making saliva is at its least so there is nothing to wash away the sugar and acid found in these drinks.
Regular dental visits are important for young children
You should make an appointment for your first child’s dental visit when you see their first milk teeth. Your dentist is there to help in the prevention of tooth decay while at the same time identifying any other dental issues like the development of crooked or misaligned teeth.