Findings point to improvement in kids’ oral health in the UK

child with missing tooth

Over recent years, the dental health of our children has been a real worry. With advertising of sweets and sugary foods being at an all time high, and a lack of education on this topic in schools, tooth decay in children has become an issue. Recent news, however, shows that things are on the up – with the number of five-year-olds with tooth decay having dropped to its lowest level in almost a decade. This is fantastic news and shows that the crackdown on sugar, advertising, and improved education in this area has really begun to help.

In 2008, nearly a third of all five year olds had tooth decay; according to research last year, in 2015, the number has dropped to a quarter. As always, there were variations in numbers regionally, with those in the North West having the highest rates of tooth decay and those in the South East having the least.

While the statistics show a huge improvement, the number is much higher than it should be. Oral hygiene in children still needs to be addressed to prevent a higher risk of further tooth decay in later life.

 

Five ways to improve your child’s dental health

child eating breakfast

As a parent, there are a number of things you can do to help improve your child’s dental health. From making savvy food swaps to helping your child brush their teeth; the solutions are even easier than you might think.

  1. Try to limit sugary food and drinks at all times. Food and drinks containing sugar are also best eaten during mealtimes, rather than in between meals.
  2. Swap snacks like cereal bars, biscuits, yoghurt, and dried fruit for things like toast, rice cakes, plain popcorn and raw vegetables.
  3. Ditch sugary fruit juice drinks and squash in favour of water and milk. Sugar-free squashes are also helpful if your child doesn’t enjoy the taste of water.
  4. Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they begin to appear. As they get older, encourage them to brush their teeth twice daily themselves. It’s a good idea to supervise them doing this until around seven years old.
  5. Opt for sugar-free medicines. Many cough and cold remedies contain sugar, so take a close look at labels and don’t be afraid to ask your pharmacist for help.

 

New mum and toddler services at AP Smilecare

child brushing teeth with mum

As a subject we’re really passionate about, we’re also doing our bit to help today’s youth. At AP Smilecare, we’re offering free dental checks for all toddlers. We welcome all children six months and older.

Our free check ups will help to ensure a good start when it comes to dental health and will encourage children to look after their own teeth as they continue to grow. As well as educating your little ones, we’ll also be offering advice to you – the parents. We know just how hard it is to get your child to look after their teeth. Whether they just don’t like brushing or can’t get enough of their favourite sweets, we’ll be offering tips and advice to all parents on dental care and sugar.

To find out more, contact the AP Smilecare team today on 01254 297 000. We look forward to hearing from you!

What are you doing to improve your child’s knowledge of good dental care? Share your tips and techniques with us in the comments below or tweet us @APSmilecare

Posted on: 13th May, 2016