Back To School Oral Care Tips
Your Epsom dentists offer some timely advice for local parents.
It might only seem like five minutes ago that the children broke up for the summer holidays. Or perhaps for some, it might seem like forever, with the constant chaos and pleas of “I’m bored .. let’s do something” or the constant backdrop of cartoons on TV and fractious children!
It may sound like a horror show, but most of us love our kids really, and want the best for them and hopefully this applies to their dental care too.
Given that the children will be returning to school in the next few weeks, the team here at Clock Tower Dental Clinic thought it would be useful to offer a timely reminder about how you can help to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
Their first day back at school can be a bit of a shock to the system. All of a sudden, there is a time restriction to get them washed, fed and clothed in order to get them to school on time. In the rush, there are a number of potential pitfalls that can be detrimental to their young teeth. Breakfast can often be a rushed affair, especially if you have a larger family. High sugar cereals might be the order of the day, perhaps with a sugary and acidic fruit drink. These are far from ideal ways for young teeth to start the day, with sugar being a leading cause of tooth decay, and acidic drinks especially harmful to the enamel on children’s teeth.
Try to make time for a more organised and tooth friendly breakfast. Suggestions that are ideal for young children include unsweetened yoghurts, egg on toast (or boiled with ‘soldiers’), cheeses and fresh fruit. This gives them a healthier and more dental friendly start to the day.
If you pack their lunch too, try to make sure that it is a healthy option, perhaps with a small treat. Don’t be tempted to give in and provide an unhealthy high sugar lunch for them.
Getting your kids to clean their teeth regularly and correctly can be challenging at the best of times, but when it is a mad rush in the morning, this is something that can easily be forgotten, or, if done at all, done very quickly and ineffectively. As parents, we need to organise the mornings so that the children have plenty of time to brush their teeth well. It is also a good idea to supervise them doing this, wherever possible.
Make sure too that no matter how tired they are at night, they give their teeth a good clean and have nothing but water between then and their bedtime.
Too much tooth decay
The fact is that tooth decay is rising amongst children in this country and the most common reason for children to receive hospital treatment is to have teeth extracted. This is distressing to the child and also to the parents. It is also very inconvenient. In addition to the obvious problems caused by having to extract teeth, it also means that they are likely to have to take some time from school. Where this time mounts up, it could potentially have an effect on their educational achievements.
Convenient dental appointments
At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we firmly believe that all children should see a dentist regularly and we will always try to arrange an appointment to minimise missing of school time. Even where this is unavoidable, you should still bring them for their regular check up. This will enable us to monitor their teeth and gums and offer early intervention when needed.
Children are also prone to playground accidents and general clumsiness that can lead to tooth damage. Even if they seem OK afterwards, if they have received a blow to the teeth, or where there is obvious damage, you should always get this checked out. Delaying it could lead to more invasive dental surgery being needed when they finally do come to see us. We know that kids don’t like going to the dentist, but it is important. Our Epsom dental team are friendly and have experience of working with children and we will make sure that their visit is as pleasant as it possibly can be.
To summarise; you know that your children will be going back to school soon, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can make time for them to have a healthy breakfast and clean their teeth well before they leave the house. Doing this will help them to have better oral health, both now, and into the future.
If you would like to make an appointment for your child, or yourself, to see one of our dentists, please call our surgery on 01372 720136.