National Smile Month
Throughout May & June we are supporting National Smile Month to raise awareness of the impact of dental neglect & the problems that can arise as a result of this. Good oral health & hygiene is essential for leading a happy, healthy life.
What is dental neglect?
Dental neglect covers an array of oral health problems including dental caries, infection, bad breath, inflammation, tooth surface loss, plaque, gum disease & and an overall poor standard of oral health. Recent statistics show that 25% of 5 year olds in County Durham have recieved treatment for tooth decay or other oral health problems as a result of dental neglect which has lead to extractions being needed. Another statistic highlights that in 2015, £7.5 million in NHS funding was spent on extractions of teeth in under 5s. Extractions of teeth are only used once there is no way of saving a tooth that has become damaged as a result of poor oral hygiene.
Did you know that poor oral health can affect the following:
– Cause a Reduction in Weight
– Emotional Well being
– Cause Bad Breath
– Absences from nursery, school or work
– The Need for Multiple use of Antibiotics
– Cause Negative outlook on Dental Care
All of these areas can have a major impact on quality of life, particularly if these problems occur from an early age.
Simple Tips to help you maintain good oral health for your family:
– Supervised tooth brushing – all children, once they have their first tooth/teeth, should experience tooh brushing supported by an adult to ensure that teeth are cleaned properly and appropriately. Teeth should be brushed twice daily for two minutes per brushing using an age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste (refer to NHS link below for further guidelines).
– As soon as your baby can sit in a chair (approximately 6 months) & has their first tooth, they should visit the dentist for regular check ups – by actively promoting dental visits from an early age, children become familiar with this environment, helping to relieve anxiety/worry. Dental visits should be preventative visits, not just when oral health problems occur.
– Check sugar contents in products – including food & drinks – and limit intake of this where possible, offering healthier alternatives.
– Avoid adding sugar to weaning foods – encourage natural tastes/textures i.e. vegetables such as sweet potato.
– Avoid sugary drinks in baby bottles/sipping cups – promote water to prevent exposure to sugar on teeth for prolonged periods.
If you are not registered with a dentist, you can find contact details for some local dental practices below:
Claypath Dental Practice – 0191 386 5375
Framwellgate – Framwellgate Dental Surgery – 0191 386 9436
Framwellgate Bridge – mydentist – 0191 384 7605
Durham City – Durham City Smiles – 0191 384 4447
For more information on promoting good dental hygiene from birth please follow the websites below: