Minimising the risk of tooth decay in your child.
A report published the other day (1), notes that there has been an increase of 18% in the number of young children needing to have teeth extracted over the last five years.
With all the additional nutritional and health advice that is now available online, this is perhaps a little surprising. In today’s blog, your nearby Streatham dentist, Dr. Tushar Patel, takes a look at some possible reasons for the rise, and also, how you can minimise the risks for your own children.
Our daily lives
Although it isn’t uncommon to hear people claim that kids have an unhealthy diet because everything is all too easily accessible and nobody makes food from scratch these days, that is to ignore the changes that have happened in society over the past twenty or thirty years. Some of these changes have been revolutionary and have been very beneficial for the majority of people. Few people now have outside toilets and have an almost constant access to hot water, for example. Others changes though, have included the widespread availability of convenience foods and high sugar drinks which have contributed to our increased sugar intake to the point where some are now claiming that sugar is as harmful as smoking.
Our working lives have changed too, and many families now have both parents at work. It isn’t surprising then, that at the end of the day when the parents are tired from working, often long hours, and their children are hyperactive, that we sometimes give in to their pleas for sweets and other sugary things, simply for a quieter life.
All things in moderation
Some people think that dentists are unrealistic when we tell them about how bad sugar is for their children’s teeth. The fact is that we do understand how hard it can be to avoid it, and, instead, we recommend that you allow them to eat a moderate amount of sweets. A small, sweet treat a day will do little harm providing that it is given at the right time, and that your children are also encouraged to keep their teeth clean. All families will vary in their lifestyles, but, as a rough guide, here are some suggestions for their daily food intake which may help.