Women UK talk to expert Dr Beena Assraff BDS , GDC from Dental Concepts in Whitchurch about what we need to do and not do when it comes to our littlest members of our family and their teeth.
Q: Do you really need to brush baby teeth if they fall out anyway?
Dr Beena Assraff: To put it simply, yes you do. Not brushing will lead to plaque build-up, tooth decay and gum disease. This can lead to pain as well as bone loss in the jaw, which will hinder the growth
of adult teeth. In fact, it’s not just essential to brush, it is also important to start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Beginning these habits from an early age can encourage excellent oral health behaviours into later life.
Dr Beena Assraff: Family toothpaste is safe for children as long as you supervise brushing to ensure they don’t eat it. There are various toothpastes specifically designed for children under the age of six and they tend to have lower doses of fluoride in them. If your child has no tooth decay, these are fine for them to use if you prefer – in fact many of them are flavoured or have their various favourite characters on and can be great aids to make toothbrushing more fun.
Q: Why should children get fluoride varnish treatment?
Dr Beena Assraff: Fluoride varnish treatment can be applied to both baby and adult teeth, usually from the age of three. If your dentist thinks your child needs it, the treatment can be applied earlier It helps to prevent decay by strengthening the tooth enamel and making it more resistant to the acid attack from plaque and bacteria. It is a particularly good treatment for children as it is not always easy to brush their teeth as well as you would possibly like to, so it provides the extra protection for their developing dentition. It should be noted that a good oral health regime should still be applied at home even if the teeth have been treated with fluoride varnish.
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