Tips for Teeth
For a confident smile it is important to establish a good oral health routine. You can also help ensure healthy teeth by giving children tooth friendly foods and drinks.
Change to a Cup
If you are bottle feeding try to put in only water or milk. These are the only tooth friendly drinks for babies and children.
As your baby reaches around 6 months, start to introduce a cup or free flow beaker. From the age of one, look to give all drinks in a cup or free flow beaker and ‘bin-the-bottle!’
Tooth Friendly Foods and Drinks
Sugar increases the risk of tooth decay. To protect your child’s teeth, work at cutting down on how often they have sugary foods and drinks. Every time they eat or drink anything sugary, acid then attacks their teeth for about an hour. It is best to give sugary items as occasional treats and at mealtimes.
Visit chanage4life for more ideas on sugar swaps.
|Swap sugary foods & drinks…
||For these healthier choices!
|Fizzy drinks (including sugar and sugar-free or ‘diet’ drinks)
||Plain still water …For more flavour add some fresh fruit e.g. a slice of orange or mixed berries. Plain milk
|100% Fruit Juice
||Limit to 1 x 150ml glass a day and serve only at mealtimes.
|Sweets and chocolate
Children should view these as a treat (not an everyday snack) and not to be had very often. Have them at the end of a mealtime not on their own.
Try not to give these as a reward, non-food rewards include stickers, time spent reading a story with a parent or extra time playing with a friend.
|Sugary snacks e.g. sugary cereal, biscuits, cakes, chocolates and sweets
Fruit e.g. apple, blueberries and other berries, Satsuma, banana, pear. Only give dried fruit as part of a main meal.
Raw vegetables e.g. carrot, pepper, cucumber. Chop these in to sticks and serve with a hummous dip.
Toast or rice-cakes with low-fat spread or plain popcorn.
Do you know how much sugar is hidden in foods and drinks children eat?
Download the free SugarSmart App from Change4Life which lets you scan items to revel how much sugar it contains.
As an adult you can teach children the routine of brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes. This will establish good habits to keep teeth healthy and avoid tooth decay or gum disease. Consider these top brushing tips;
- Brush your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears; this is usually around 6 months but can be earlier or later.
- Brush teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. You can use regular fluoride toothpaste; you don’t need to buy special toothpaste for children.
- Use a smear of toothpaste for under 3 year olds and a pea size for children over 3.
- Brush for 2 minutes twice a day, including before they go to bed.
- Children often need help with tooth brushing until the age of 8.
Visit the Dentist
When your child’s first teeth appear take them to see the dentist. The NHS dental care is free for children. Continue to visit the dentist regularly, at least once a year.
More information on dental health for both children and adult.