A sucking habit after the age of 7 years can cause permanent change in the position of permanent (adult) teeth.
Dummies generally cause less problems than a thumb or finger as a dummy sucking habit can usually be discouraged before 6 years old.
Dummies should never be dipped in anything sweet (e.g honey)
Tooth decay and poor oral health in childhood can lead to:
*Time off school and work for parents/carers
*Altered sleep and eating patterns
*The need for teeth to be removed
*A commitment to long-term dentistry
*Low self-esteem and victim of bullying
Children should brush their teeth twice a day, once a bedtime and another occasion for 2 mins each time. The Brush DJ app can help with brushing for the correct amount of time https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/brush-dj/
Children should be encouraged to spit out the toothpaste and not rinse their mouth with water.
Adults should supervise Children with toothbrushing until at least the age of 7 years.
It is important tooth paste contains fluoride, as fluoride prevents tooth decay.
Children must be supervised so they don’t eat or lick the toothpaste from the tube and control the amount used.
Use a smear of toothpaste for Children aged 0 – 3 years
Use a pea size amount of toothpaste for Children aged 3 – 6 years
A toothbrush with a small size head and medium texture bristles make toothbrushing more effective.
Diet can have a significant impact on tooth decay.
The following simple changes can have a significant impact:
*Reducing the number of times sugary foods and drink are consumed
*Limiting sugary food to main meals
*Drinking only plain milk and water, sugary drinks have no place in a child’s daily diet
*Only prescribing and administering sugar free medicine
Here are some links to help you deliver good oral care to your child.
https://communitydentalservices.co.uk/oral-health/oxfordshire-oral-health-improvement/ and https://communitydentalservices.co.uk/oral-health/family-fun/