Good oral health habits need to be formed from the earliest age. Tooth decay is largely preventable, but it’s still a serious problem among young children.
Nearly a quarter of 5 year olds in England have tooth decay, with 3 or 4 teeth affected on average. Tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures for children under 6 in hospital. Extraction is also the most common reason for hospital admission for children aged 6 to 10.
Children who have toothache, or need treatment, may have pain or infections. This can have a wider effect and lead to problems eating, sleeping, socialising and learning.
Get your young children to brush the teeth of dolls or soft toys. Read stories about teeth and smiles. Talk about healthy food and drinks that help to grow strong teeth, and those that do not. Get them to look at their own and your teeth, using mirrors.
When brushing your child's teeth, don't forget to use fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you visit your dentist regularly and encourage positive toothbrushing routines.