Importance of dental hygiene for children

As parents, we are very aware of the need to educate our children about dental hygiene but how often does this extend beyond twice daily brushing? And are you really aware of what damage is done to their teeth throughout the day? In a recent survey of 286 dentists undertaken by the British Dental Health Foundation, sugary drinks were identified as the most significant factor in children’s tooth decay.

In the second half of 2008 there were 1.27 million fillings in children’s teeth in England and Wales.

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, foods and drinks containing sugar cause tooth decay, and drinks such as citrus fruit juices and all fizzy drinks can be harmful if taken often and in large amounts. Tooth decay and enamel erosion results in pain, discolouring, sensitivity and decay. Dentist-favoured alternatives are water or milk, because even fruit juices and squashes consumed in between meals can have a negative effect on teeth.

It is important to educate that a balance needs to be struck, but if they have already been exposed to sugary drinks, how can you help change their perceptions – and their habits?

The Natural Hydration Council believes children should be educated in the healthier alternatives and is supporting the British Dental Health Foundation’s National Smile Month campaign. ‘Teeth4life’ runs from 16th May to 16th June 2010 and is aiming to raise awareness of good dental practices.

So if you need some advice, watch this web TV show with Dr Nigel Carter, Head of the British Dental Health Foundation, will be offering his top tips on keeping your children’s teeth healthy, and exposing just how much damage their favourite sugary drinks could be doing.