children

Teeth Whitening

We consider children to be very special patients at Saltdean Dental Health. Our aim is the prevention of dental disease , by providing the most up-to-date advice and preventive dental care. We encourage dental visits at a young age, so children can develop good dental habits and a healthy smile for life.

When should I take my child to the dentist?

It is recommended that children should go to the dentist with their parents as soon as possible, to get used to the surroundings and to get used to what goes on there. We suggest that their first examination is at 2 ½ to 3 years of age, by which time they will have all their baby teeth. By introducing your child to dental visits at an early age, they will be more relaxed and develop good dental habits for life. We would then recommend regular six monthly visits, so that we can closely monitor your child’s dental health and development.

How can I prevent tooth decay in my child?

When children’s teeth first erupt they are always free of decay, and therefore it is important that prevention starts from the moment that they appear. Babies should not be given bottles containing juices or squashes, as this can cause serious damage to the teeth.

The main cause of tooth decay is not the amount of sugar in the diet, but how often it is eaten or drunk. The more often your child has sugary foods or drinks, the more likely they are to have decay. It is therefore important to keep sugary foods to mealtimes only. If you want to give your child a snack, try to stick to cheese, vegetables and fruit, but not dried fruit, which often has high sugar content. Any sweets should be eaten at mealtimes only. Drinks should be limited to water or sugar free squashes with artificial sweeteners. Snacks should also be avoided for an hour prior to bedtime, even if toothbrushing afterwards.

Acid erosion of the teeth can be caused by the regular consumption of acidic fruit and juices.We would recommend that fruit juices are limited to mealtimes, and that teeth are not brushed for a least an hour after consumption, as the enamel will be softened. It is also important to be aware that fizzy drinks, such as Coca Cola, are also acidic in nature.

Toothbrushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, will help to prevent tooth decay. For children of 6 years and over, the use of a daily fluoride mouthwash will provide extra protection, but must be spat out and not swallowed. We would recommend that this is used at a different time to toothbrushing to gain maximum benefit

Fluoride comes from a number of different sources, including toothpaste, mouthwashes, specific fluoride applications and sometimes drinking water. These can all help to prevent tooth decay. The concentration of fluoride in different toothpastes varies significantly and children need to use a toothpaste appropriate for their age.

  • Young children up until 3years of age should use a toothpaste with a low level of fluoride (1000 ppm), with only a small smear of paste being used.
  • Children from 3-6years should use a toothpaste with a slightly higher fluoride level (1350 ppm)
  • At 6 years of age, an adult toothpaste should be used, using a small pea sized amount.
  • Encourage your child to spit out as soon as they are able, usually at about 6 years of age and supervise the amount of toothpaste used up until 7 years of age.