How To Help Protect Your Child's Enamel

I cant say I have always been the best at brushing my teeth, I can remember from being a child just going straight to bed and not brushing my teeth. Even today I do still have nights when I'm so tired I just collapse on the bed without brushing my teeth or even taking my make up off! Now when it comes to my 2 children I am a lot stricter about it, and now I can see where my Mum was coming from when she use to tell me off (Sorry Mum) but she is right, you only get one set of teeth, and you should look after them. I want my children to get into the habit of brushing their teeth from a early age so they can look after their teeth when they are older. Recent research shows that 84% of acid wear is found in adults on a weekly basis at the dentist, this is just crazy but its not until you look at the certain foods and drinks that you realise how acidic they are, especially with children's enamel being 50% thinner than adults its a good idea to consider the effects your child's diet and eating habits can have on their oral health. 38% of 12 year olds and 44% of 15 year olds are showing signs of dental erosion on the surface of permanent incisors, and its not just the fizzy drinks causing this, some of the healthier options are also contributing to your acidic levels every day.

Here is a brief indication of the acidic levels in some of our daily foods and drinks. 

High - Cola, Lemonade, Orange Squash, Apple Juice, Pineapple Juice, Strawberry Jam and Grapefruit. 
Medium - Carrot Juice, Tomatoes, Honey, Tomato Ketchup, Seedless Raisins, Pears and Natural Yoghurt. 
Low - Milk, Bananas, Cheese, Eggs, Water and Carrot Sticks. 

I was quite shocked about some of these, although because they contain high levels of acid, it doesn't mean we need to avoid them completely. We just need to try and reduce how often we have them, and because I have recently started my new healthy lifestyle I'm glad that I can cut down on some of these, but of course on a occasion I will still drink cola etc. 

Here are Professor David Bartlett's top tips for protecting your child's enamel: 
1. Limit the number of occasions that your child has acidic foods and drinks in a day.
2. Avoid brushing teeth right after eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks.
3. Nibble on a tiny piece of cheese or swill with water or milk after each meal.
4. Use a glass and straw and try to finish the drink quickly. 
5. Brush twice a day, every day with an optimised fluoride toothpaste like Pronamel for Children to help re-harden and strengthen acid-softened tooth enamel and help keep children's teeth strong and healthy. 

You can also make brushing teeth time really fun, every 3-4 months we let Isla pick a new toothbrush from the store, we play a 2 minute nursery rhyme while brushing our teeth, we have stickers for when she has let us brush her teeth really well, and she has a toothbrush stand and water tap extension to help her independently brush her teeth so she feels grown up. Since Archie's 1st tooth appered we have always given it the occasional brush, but now he has 4 we feel its better to brush them twice a day with Isla, he also enjoys having a go at himself and this all makes brushing their teeth a lot easier!

The toothpaste we are currently using is the Sensodyne Pronamel for Children, its in a mint flavour which I am keen to keep the children using instead of flavoured ones. Isla and Archie seem to like it, and I like all the benefits it has for their teeth, and it helps re-harden softened tooth enamel, which is good because acid wear can affect all ages and can not be reversed, once the enamel is gone, its gone for good so its best to start protecting them little teeth now. 

* All the current research was sent to us to help put this post together. Also a fun pack for the children.

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