Lily

Lily
Lily Tessa

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Archer Leo

Brushing Your Children's Teeth

Lily brushing her teeth before bed
Do you brush your child's teeth as often as you should? A recent national dental health survey has shown that nearly half of 8 year olds and a third of 5 year olds have signs of decay in their milk teeth! This is a shocking revelation and hits home the need to make sure you regularly brush your children's teeth morning and night (or make sure they do it properly themselves if they are old enough!).

Lily absolutely loves her teeth being brushed (although it was a struggle at first). It's all part of her 'big girl' routine and on the odd occasion where she might not want to cooperate, she soon changes her mind with a "Oh, I thought you were a big girl?". Luckily because Lily loves having her teeth brushed so much, usually the first thing she says in the morning or last thing she says at night is "Oh no, Daddy hasn't brushed my teeth yet!" even before we've had chance!

Lily loves to run the toothbrush under the tap herself, put the toothpaste on herself, and thankfully also brush her teeth herself. She always goes first and does her best (she's definitely getting more thorough as she mimics our actions) and then when she's finished doing her part she'll always announce "It's Daddy's turn now" where James then brushes her teeth properly to make doubly sure!




It's very important to get your children used to brushing their teeth at an early age (before any teeth even come through) so that by the time they actually need brushing, there won't be a struggle. Let them choose their own toothbrush as well. This gives them a certain degree of choice and control over the whole process which makes it feel less 'forced' upon them. Lily absolutely loves her pink Peppa Pig toothbrush!

Tooth decay is a serious, preventable disease and this survey echoes the need to urgently reduce the amount of sugary snacks and drinks in our children's diets.Dr Sandra White, Public Health England

Sugary sweets and fizzy diets are to blame for a lot of these issues. Many parents will hold different views as to what their children can and cannot eat, and it's important to limit what junk your child eats. Not just for their dental hygiene, but their mood and overall health & well-being. But that's another topic all together! I personally don't offer Lily any fruit juices with her meals or throughout the day, only water (or milk if she wants). I'm not opposed to giving her apple juice or orange juice etc, but I believe that it should be in moderation as it isn't a secret that they are crammed full of sugars (even natural sugars if they aren't a concentrate).

The findings of the survey is worrying enough, but in extreme cases of neglect there are some parents out there who do not believe it is down to them to brush their children's teeth (or at least make sure this is being done!). I recall an article in the news a while ago whereby some children had been found in this situation and after a visit to the dentist, the poor things had to have almost all of their teeth extracted as a result! There was even a programme on television a couple of years ago which followed the daily life of a dentistry, aptly named "The Dentists". The number of children who came in to have teeth extracted was beyond belief, and their parents just didn't seem to care!

Also worth a watch is Channel 4's "Junk Food Kids - Who's to Blame?"

Have a read for yourself of the article on the BBC News website regarding the survey and see what you think.

View the survey results yourself at the Health & Social Care Information Centre website.


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