5 THINGS TO ENSURE YOUR CHILD HAS GREAT ADULT TEETH
1. Sugar causes decay.
Our modern diet is packed full of refined carbohydrates (sugars), and it can be nearly impossible to eliminate them from daily life. Remember, the most important thing you can do is limit how OFTEN you give your child sugary snacks. Teeth can cope with around 2-3 sugary snacks per day, so long as you use a fluoride-containing tooth paste 2-3 times per day, and see your dental health professional every 6 months. Any more than that, then you are inviting tooth decay. Tooth decay in baby teeth is the biggest predictor that your child will have tooth decay in the adult teeth. So, start good dietary habits early!
2. Plaque causes gum disease.
This is the white sticky stuff that builds up around the gum line if you haven’t brushed your teeth properly or recently. When plaque is left undisturbed for more that a day, it causes inflammation in your gums (red gums). When you finally get around to brushing your teeth, some people get put off because their gums bleed when brushing. It is important to know that bleeding gums if a sign that you are not brushing them enough! Regular brushing and flossing (2-3 times per day) drastically reduces your risk of developing gum disease – a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
3. Acid causes tooth erosion.
We find acid in many parts of the diet, but the number 1 culprit is soft drinks – especially “sports” and “energy” drinks. Not only are they packed full of decay-causing sugar, they are incredibly acidic, even the sugar-free drinks. Acid pulls all the minerals out of the enamel (calcium and phosphate) causing the teeth to become weak, and prone to erosion and accelerated wear. Just like sugar, drinks containing acid need to be very limited if your body has any chance of minimizing its damaging effects.
4. Accidents happen.
Some kids are accident-prone. Yet, so often, chipped and broken front teeth can be avoided. If you chip an adult tooth (remember, they start coming through from the age of 5-6 years), then you will have a permanent reminder of the accident. In kids, the most common reason for dental trauma is excessively prominent front teeth. Prominent front teeth are the first things to break when your kid falls off her bike, or gets hit with a hockey stick. Regular checks by an orthodontist or dental health professional can help you understand if your child’s teeth are at excessive risk of trauma. We can help by making a mouthguard for contact sports, or even correcting excessively prominent teeth at a young age if necessary.
See an orthodontist by the age of 9 years.
Everything you have just read can be detected early, and managed by regular 6 monthly visits to a dental heath professional. A Specialist Orthodontist has additional skills to detect early, and manage even the most complex of problems long before they affect the adult teeth.
A visit to a Specialist Orthodontist at the age of 9 years will set your child up for a life time of great adult teeth.