Is Your Child At Risk Of Tooth Decay?
A staggering number of young children are having teeth extracted, is your child at risk?
Report after report, in 2018, has indicated an ‘epidemic’ in tooth decay amongst children. At our Streatham dentists, we know that there is simply no need for this problem, and certainly not on the scale being reported. Our children’s dentists are here to help you to avoid the suffering of seeing your child in pain with toothache.
Looking at those under the age of 18, around 40,000 teeth had to be extracted between 2016 and 2017. This is an increase of around 20% from figures for 2012/13. Whilst older children would have been able to have the teeth extracted at a dental practice, younger patients would often have needed to have a general anaesthetic at a hospital to have theirs out.
Sometimes, of course, it is necessary to remove a tooth from a child’s mouth. Valid examples would include where there is overcrowding or where wisdom teeth have become impacted and these types of extractions are performed to enable the child to have a healthier mouth. Although decayed and rotten teeth do need to be removed, this is something that we would hope to see much less of. This type of problem can usually be reduced with a few improvements to diet and improved general care of teeth and gums.
The most obvious way to reduce decay in children is to cut down their sugar intake. Sugary, fizzy drinks are especially problematic here and should be reserved for special occasions only. Encourage your child to drink through a straw too, in order to reduce the contact of sugar on their teeth.
Please also make sure to read the labels of foods that you buy as many savoury products actually contain quite high levels of sugar too. Sweets should be replaced with other alternatives wherever possible.
We all know that it is unlikely that we can cut all sugar from our diet, and especially that of our children. It is important therefore, to make sure that they clean their teeth properly, with parents supervising whilst the children brush their teeth for as long as the parent thinks is necessary. They may complain at the time, buy they will thank you for it as they become older!
Hygienist visits are also very useful for children and can play an important role in their oral health education. This, combined with a regular cleaning by the hygienist and good care at home, will provide your child with every chance of avoiding toothache and the need for an extraction.
If you live in the Streatham area and have children that are not yet registered at a dental practice, it is never too late. Our friendly dentists will look after your child and hopefully help avoid the need for them having to have any teeth extracted as they grow older. Of course, parents also need to play their part by ensuring that our advice is taken on board and followed.
If you would like to register at our practice, or make an appointment, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8674 2052.