2014 is a new school year for kids! Parents often ask us how to care for their kids teeth, so this blog will explain why kids teeth need extra care. This year, start your children off on the right foot.

Try some of our healthy lunchbox ideas which are great for kids teeth. One of the leading causes of decay in kids teeth is constant snacking and sipping on sugary drinks. Help maintain healthy kids teeth by limiting consumption of sweet drinks.

kids dentistDrinks such as juice or flavoured milk should be had at meal times only. Throughout the day, kids should sip on only water. Tap water is excellent for kids teeth as it contains slightly higher levels of fluoride which strengthens and mineralises enamel.

While some parents are concerned about fluoride toxicity, our team at Vivid Dental highly recommend drinking fluoridated water and using a fluoride toothpaste. It is perfectly safe and protects kids teeth which aren’t as strong as adult teeth.

Kids teeth enamel is still developing and is therefore softer and not as strong. This means that decay can start in kids teeth very easily, and rapidly worsen. Fluoride is very beneficial for kids teeth in preventing decay.

Morning tea snacks such as crackers with dip or cheese, veggie sticks (carrots, celery, cucumber) and nuts are nutritious and low in sugar, which means they are better for your child’s teeth. Be sure to check with your day care or school before sending your child to school with nuts, as some institutes don’t allow nuts or peanut butter due to allergies.

Try to use wholemeal, brown or rye bread for sandwiches, at white breads are very high in sugar and are less nutritious. These high sugar foods are bad for kids teeth and can cause decay. Spreads like jam, nutella and peanut butter can contain extremely high levels of sodium, sugar, preservatives, colouring and other nasties. Try spreading sandwiches with avocado, tomato, ham and cheese, or fresh butter and banana for a sweeter option.

After school, try getting into a routine from the start of the year. Within the first 30 minutes of arriving home, ask kids if there are any notes or letters from teachers, and have afternoon tea. Allow the children to relax and have a break for these 30 minutes. Then move onto homework activities. If they have completed all homework before dinner time, allow outside play or reading.

Dinner time is a great time to discuss your day, ask your child how school was, and share a healthy meal together. If your child wants a drink other than water with their meal, try milk – as juices and cordials are high in sugar, bad for kids teeth and colouring and may cause hyperactivity.

After dinner, try to discourage sweet treats and lollies, as it’s particularly bad for kids teeth to be exposed to sugar before sleep. Brush your kids teeth with them, as children lack the necessary coordination and dexterity to brush teeth properly. It’s important to brush your kids teeth for two full minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and soft toothbrush.