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Dental health is an important lesson that all children should learn at an early age to help them get the most out of their oral health routine.
In order to set them on their path to a shining smile, it’s vital that children are made aware that caring for their teeth and gums is just as important as washing their hands — and when it comes to encouragement, nothing works better than setting a good example by practicing good oral care yourself!
The benefits of good oral care are bountiful — establishing a good routine from an early age can help prevent cavities (which can be both painful and cause early tooth loss) and gum disease (which can cause eventual tooth loss, bad breath, and can even be the beginning of other serious health problems).
Ways to make brushing your teeth fun…
Try listening to a fun song that is two minutes long to help keep both you and the little ones brushing for the duration of time recommended.
Children love to get involved, so why not let them choose different kinds of fluoride toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss to keep in the bathroom so that they can have options each time they brush. Treating your child to a toothbrush that features their favourite cartoon or television character will also encourage them to want to use it.
It’s also a great idea to develop a rewards system. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and floss daily, so why not keep track of your child's brushing on a chart with gold stars and reward them for their good efforts?
Children should have a dental checkup every six months. This can be scary experience for many, so why not prepare them beforehand by giving them an idea of what to expect? Using picture books or role-playing exercises to explain what happens during a dental visit will not only help them understand but can also make the experience much more fun and far less stressful for both parent and child.
Brushing your teeth twice each day with fluoride toothpaste teamed with daily flossing and regular dental check-ups can help keep teeth in tip top condition; but even the most rigorous regime can be counteracted by a few unwise lifestyle choices…
What you eat and drink can easily cause tooth decay, so a healthy diet is vitally important for your teeth. We recommend a healthy diet that contains foods from different groups, including fruit and vegetables, starchy foods (such as rice, bread and potatoes), protein-rich foods (such as fish, meat and eggs) and dairy foods.
Limiting the amount of sugar you consume (via both foods and drinks) plays an important part in preventing tooth decay. Most of the sugars we eat and drink are found in processed and ready-made food and drinks, including: sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, breakfast cereals, jams, dried fruit, fizzy drinks and alcoholic drinks — so we would advise saving these for treats and special occasions.
Although a glass of fruit juice counts towards your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, it also contains a lot of sugar. When you have a sugary drink with a meal however, it can be less damaging to your teeth than if you drink it on its own, so try to drink fruit juice only at mealtimes, or drink it diluted with water to minimize damage to teeth.
Needless to say, the act of smoking can quickly prevent you from sporting a healthy and dazzling smile. Smoking not only turns teeth yellow, but also causes bad breath and increases the risk of gum disease, breathing problems and lung cancer. What’s more — according to the NHS, if you smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day, you are six times more likely to develop mouth cancer than someone who doesn't smoke!
Alcohol consumption cannot only erode the enamel on the outside of your teeth, leading to decay, but excessivedrinking has also been linked to an increased risk of developing mouth cancer — according to Cancer Research UK, 75-80% of mouth cancer patients admitted to frequently drinking alcohol.
A Shining Smile
If you’re looking to keep your teeth as white as possible, we recommend cutting out or limiting your consumption of substances that can stain them. Wine, cigarette smoke, tea and coffee can all discolour teeth, so keep these to a minimum to stop your teeth from becoming stained and start sporting a healthy, sparkling smile!