Dental health is a stark inequality
The Guardian reports: “20% of children from poorer backgrounds account for 80% of dental decay”. Children as young as three have to endure painful bouts of toothache, gum disease and anesthetised tooth extractions.
Dental health specialists, Dr Gill Davies and Dr Colette Bridgman, write in the British Dental Journal, that parents are key to reversing inequality in dental health.
Bridgman and Davies call for families to receive free toothpaste and for parents to instill hygiene habits in pre-school children by:
- Asking nursery staff or childminders to brush toddlers teeth twice a day.
- Brushing teeth when babies are first weaned around six months.
- Cutting out sugar from babies’ feeding bottles.
- Offering water at toddler group snack times instead of sugar-laden squash.
- Rewarding children with healthy treats rather than chocolate or sweets.
- Making regular check-ups when teeth come through.
Worried about your baby’s teeth?
Check for symptoms of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.
Join the discussion on brushing babies’ teeth
Continue the discussion in the forum thread Help – Teeth Brushing Battles