Children's tooth decay

Dr Bigg News: Children

Levels of child tooth decay have reached an unprecedented high- Here Dr Bigg offers guidance on precisely what must be done to do to ensure your child reaches adulthood with perfect teeth...


Did you know that in our country there is an epidemic of dental decay in children’s teeth?  In England almost 1 in 3 five-year-olds is suffering from tooth decay.  In 2013-14 nearly 26,000 five to nine-year-olds were admitted to hospital for treatment due to decay.

Why is this decay continuing?
Although in general our mouths appear to be improving, dental decay amongst children is still a problem.  Why is this?
• Primary or baby teeth decay more easily as the enamel covering the teeth is thinner and weaker than in adult mouths
• Many toddlers are given frequent sugary drinks from a baby bottle or sipping cups, this causes decay in the upper front teeth that spreads to the rest of the mouth
• Children visit the dentist too late.  The first visit needs to be as soon as most of the first teeth appear, and that’s between 2 and 3 years old

What does dental decay do to our children?
• Dental decay causes pain and infection, leading to difficulties with eating, speaking and sleeping
• Children may miss school and parents may have to take time off work for treatment
• Repeated infections may lead to extractions, and these can cause crowding of adult teeth later

So what can we do to prevent dental decay in our children?
Around 90% of tooth decay is preventable, so:
• Use a fluoride toothpaste twice a day and help with brushing until your child is at least eight years old
• Use an adult toothpaste from 3 years old, as children’s toothpaste does not contain enough fluoride
• Give your children a healthy diet, limit sugary or acidic food and drinks, ideally only water or milk for young children
• Try to change to a free-flow cup when children are 6 months old and definitely at 12 months
• Use only sugar-free medicines, if possible
• Visit your dentist as soon as most of the first teeth have appeared.

At Milton Dental Practice, check-ups for the children of existing patients are free until 6 years old.  After 6 years, children can join a Denplan scheme where regular visits and complete preventive care is guaranteed for only £2.75 per week, with a 15% discount for families of four.

If you want more information about the contents of the article, go to the Children’s Oral Health Report from the FDS RCS, or contact Penny at Milton Dental Practice: 01993 831396 or email and come to see us for a consultation.

To accompany this article, we are offering a power tooth brush to any child who joins Denplan with Milton Dental Care.


Posted: 10 April 2016