Lessons in brushing to save childrens’ teeth.

It was interesting to read in the Sunday times at the weekend, the article about the new government initiative to set up “toothbrushing clubs” in schools and nurseries to counter the “epidemic” of dental decay among children as young as one.

25 schools in Devon, Yorkshire, London and Wales are where the scheme has been initiated, and children are given free toothbrushes and tooth paste and are taught, under supervision, how to brush, twice a day.

The need for the clubs was a result of alarming figures released earlier this year that showed 9,206 extractions under general anaesthetic were carried out on under 4’s in 2015-2016 – a 24% increase on 2006-2007. Of these, 47 were children under the age of one.

As always, there a critics to the scheme – saying that schools are stepping in to take over habits that should have been learnt at home, and that the government should be directing their funds into a campaign aimed at parents instead…..

My opinion, and it is only my opinion is that surely it doesn’t matter where they are being taught, as long as they are learning these vital lessons somewhere! I agree, the earlier these habits are learnt, the better, and often that would mean at home rather than waiting until nursery or school starts, however, often the homecare routine can flawed.

We are often asked “When should I start bringing my child to the dentist?” – the answer is: as soon as their teeth start coming through! Get them used to coming, get them into good habits young, limit sugar intake and enjoy a healthy diet (reading the food labels for “carbohydrates of which sugars” to get the sugar content, anything over 5g is considered high, per serving).

Remember, children under the age of 6 should be having a maximum daily amount of 19 grams of sugar each day (this is the equivalent of just under 5 teaspoons per day) and then 6-9 year olds should be having a maximum of 24 grams (approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar per day). Sugar consumed with a meal are less harmful to the teeth, so its good to be aware of exactly when the harmful sugars are being consumed.

We are more than happy to give you any more advice on this, please, just ask. Or download the Sugar Smart App and start zapping barcodes for yourself!