A guide for parents to help them care for their children’s teeth has been launched by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD).
Covering all aspects of oral healthcare for children from birth to 16, the guide is designed to correct some of the damaging myths about teeth and help parents get their child’s dental health off to the best possible start.
Claire Stevens, media spokesperson for BSPD, said that one of the most worrying myths that continue to be shared is that baby teeth don’t matter. ‘Your child’s baby teeth – also known as milk teeth – do matter and have an important role to play. They hold the space for second teeth to come through into but because the enamel is thin, they are highly susceptible.’
With dental decay remaining as one of the most common reasons for a child to be admitted to a hospital in the UK, the BSPD is taking positive steps to ensure that the key messages reach parents from birth. The society’s aim is a generation free from dental disease.
Claire said: ‘We need to stop the downward spiral and support parents to access accurate and easy to understand information. The kindest things a parent can do is pay attention to their child’s teeth from an early age. Our new guide explains how. We would strongly encourage all parents to ensure that their child is taken for a dental check as soon as their teeth come through and certainly before their first birthday. This allows families to get preventive advice before problems occur.
‘We know that one in eight three-year-old children has signs of obvious dental decay so waiting until they reach school age before seeing a dentist is leaving it too late. Routine visits to the dentist from the age of one also allows a child to get used to the dental environment and ensures that onwards referral to a specialist in paediatric dentistry can be made for children in need of additional expertise.’
The new guide is in the resources area of the BSPD website, where it’s available for consulting or downloading.