As a parent, there are few better things you can do for your child than help them look after their oral health, yet nearly one quarter of children under five suffer from tooth decay, making it one of the nation’s most common childhood diseases. Despite a significant recent improvement in the state of children’s oral health, there still appears to be a knowledge gap when it comes to knowing what really is best for your children’s teeth.
It can be hard to encourage kids to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day, amongst the million other duties you have as a parent, but there is something which you can do just twice a year which can make a serious positive impact on your children dental health, and that’s fluoride varnish.
What is fluoride varnish?
- It’s a quick and painless preventative treatment whereby fluoride varnish is applied to your children’s teeth by a dentist or a nurse. The process involves painting a fluoride-based varnish onto the surface of the tooth. It’s recommended that children aged three and over should be given a fluoride varnish application at least twice a year.
- Fluoride varnish strengthens children’s tooth enamel, making them more resistant to tooth decay in the long run – almost like giving them a super powered protective cloak!
Last year, we conducted research which revealed that when it comes to identifying the good foods from the bad, there is a lot of confusion, particularly where sugar content is concerned. Twenty per cent of parents believe fruit smoothies are good for their children’s teeth, despite often containing large amounts of added sugar and additives.
The same research also revealed that 41 per cent of children don’t brush their teeth twice daily and 19 per cent of parents don’t understand the benefits of fluoride.
To tackle this, mydentist are focusing on educating the nation on fluoride varnish this summer, offering the free treatment to all kids aged 3 and over in their 680 UK-wide practices.
Some top tips for keeping your kids’ teeth in check:
Start young – It’s important you bring your kids along for their first check-up as they approach their first birthday. By establishing good habits from a young age and taking them to the dentist when their first teeth appear, it eases them into a dental environment and prevents diseases like dental decay from the get go.
Lead the way – From a young age, kids like to copy their parents – so it’s a great idea to brush your teeth together.
Avoid the sweet stuff – While we can’t always cut out sweets altogether, if your children are going to eat something sweet, make sure it’s with a meal and never before bed as they’ll sleep with sugar on their teeth.
Make it fun: There’s plenty out there which can support you on what seems like an impossible journey of making tooth-brushing fun for kids. Why not invest in a fun brush and reward your kids for good brushing by monitoring with a toothbrush chart. mydentist have also created a number of fun tools to educate kids on oral hygiene, including their Plaque Attack app (available on Apple and Android) and their new Plaque Attack Top Trumps-Style game, which can be picked up when you book in for a fluoride varnish appointment.
*a suitability assessment from a dentist is required for fluoride varnish before the treatment.
Summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to book your children in for a check-up and fluoride varnish treatment. To find your nearest dental practice, click here