How Much Sugar Is Too Much For Kids?

How to maintain your kids’ oral health

Often the threats that sugar can cause to your oral health can go unnoticed. This is usually the case with children’s oral health too. Hiding in so many of the foods and drink that we consume daily, sugar has damaging effects on our body and teeth.

For children who consume a lot of sugar and have a high sugar intake daily, tooth decay is a very serious possibility. Many types of bacteria live in our body and mouth, and certain kinds of bacteria feed off sugar and create an acid that can cause softening or dissolving of the tooth’s enamel or protective outer layer. This in turn creates tooth decay or tooth cavities. 

Our bodies naturally offset the acids created by sugar in our mouths by producing saliva which acts to rinse the mouth. This process of lessening the effects of the damaging sugar acids on your teeth enamel is called remineralisation. If the cycle of acid creation in your mouth (due to high sugar intake) is constant, however, the enamel on your teeth won’t have a chance to remineralise. Drinking water aids in saliva production; if your kids were to keep drinking a lot of carbonated fizzy drinks during the day instead of water, they’re inadvertently helping the bacteria produce more acid faster than can be neutralised in your mouth, and the results can be quite unfavourable.

Watch Dr. Daphne talk about Paediatric Dentistry in the video below.

What’s the recommended daily sugar intake?

The recommended guideline for an average adult’s daily intake of sugar as provided by the World Health Organization is up to twelve teaspoons of sugar or 10% of your daily energy intake requirements. That’s roughly about 50g per day. It’s challenging to provide a measurement for children for their daily intake as it varies depending on factors like age and sex.

Click below for a guideline on the recommended energy intake required for children. However, it is important to remember that it doesn’t account for your child’s size or level of activity during the day.

You’d be surprised to know that a small 375ml can of Coke can actually take up as much as 80% of your daily sugar intake as an adult! This leaves some 20% of sugar allowance left for food, which even without added sugars, naturally contain sugar as well.

For more information on what foods are considered high in sugar and to see how drinks compare in terms of their sugar content, click on the link to Read the Full Article at the bottom of the page.

What do you need to do to protect your child’s teeth from sugar?

Source: Australian Dental Association

Sugar weakens the tooth’s enamel and causes cavities. These holes, decay or cavities cause damage that is permanent to the tooth.

When there is tooth decay, it becomes necessary for a dentist to be involved in fixing the issue and treating the damage to the tooth. The cavity can be a tiny hole that has started to develop in the tooth’s enamel which can be easily treated using a standard dental filling. However, if the decay has penetrated and affected the pulp down in the root of the tooth, the situation becomes more serious. This will only happen if you leave a tooth that is starting to decay untreated for a long time, causing more layers of the tooth to get affected and rot.

In the case of a cavity or decay infecting the root of the tooth, the dentist would have to perform a root canal treatment to save the infected tooth. This is more invasive and will take more time to heal. If the tooth is simply unsalvageable, it must be removed.

In a child, this will be the last resort for a dentist. Your child’s primary teeth play a vital role in keeping all the teeth in the correct place until the adult teeth begin to form. Losing a tooth early on as a child could create spacing problems with teeth and will result in necessary orthodontic treatment later as your child grows up.

Cut down on sugar in your family’s diet. Try to always maintain a healthy balanced diet for meals and good oral hygiene practices like brushing teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, limiting sugary foods and drinks and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans!

It’s absolutely vital that you seek advice from a dentist on your child’s oral health as soon as their first tooth starts to emerge. This way, the dentist can keep a close eye and monitor to see if any signs of decay show early on and avoid having to undergo intrusive treatment procedures.

Creating a positive experience at the dentist

It would be helpful if your child sees a dentist for the first time prior to any dental issue arising. This is because we can then start off by introducing your child to dentistry with a more gentle, non-invasive examination to spend more time establishing a positive relationship with them. If we can establish a healthy relationship with your child from the get-go, we can minimise any dental anxiety or phobias that may arise after visiting the dentist for the first time for a major dental procedure, creating a negative association in their minds.

It is important that you do not talk about seeing the dentist in a negative way. Often children associate seeing the dentist as a frightening experience.

  • Don’t bribe your child
  • Don’t tell them that it might hurt and that they’re brave
  • Don’t speak of any negative experiences that you may have experienced at the dentist
  • Don’t be anxious; this could transfer to your child who sees that you’re anxious
  • Try to be positive and make it a fun experience
  • Make regular appointments with the dentist for check-ups

To read the full article click on the link below.

Summary

Watch Dr. Daphne talk about Paediatric Dentistry in the video below.

Christmas Brushing Charts – Free Download

Routines go haywire over the Christmas period, especially with all the snacks and special treats on offer. It’s an important time not to forget the kids’ oral health!

For optimal dental health, we recommend brushing your children’s teeth twice a day. It can be a difficult routine for your child to get used to, but it’s important to persevere, particularly when there’s so many sugary treats to eat around Christmas time.

To help you, we’ve designed these FREE downloadable Christmas bushing charts for use at home. There are three to choose from, each specific to an age group and particular routine. Check them out below!

 

Download the individual brushing charts above, or get all three here.

 

Reward Good Habits

Brushing charts can help make brushing teeth fun for kids. It can be the extra incentive that makes the routine of twice daily brushing less of a chore, particularly for reluctant kids.

It always helps to praise your child while they brush their teeth and when they colour in their chart. The more fun and rewarding the process, the more likely it is to become a routine.

When completing their chart, we recommend rewarding them with a small prize. This needn’t be anything extravagant; it could simply be their favourite meal for dinner, a picnic at the beach, or even a small toy (something collectable, like Lego, which they can build upon as they keep up their brushing).

 

Free Children’s Dental

The government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule allows eligible families free children’s dental up to $1000 in benefits per child every two calendar years. At Polished Dental, we bulk bill dental treatment for all children eligible under the schedule.

Check here to see if you’re eligible or for more information.

Our experts are friendly and experienced with all aspects of children’s dental

If you would like to make an appointment please call at 3878 3889 or book online.

Book Now Call 3878 3889

Free Dental for Kids – First Appointment FREE

Ever wonder when or how to introduce your child to the dentist for the first time?

Dr. Sang talks us through when to bring the kids in and FREE first kid’s dental appointments!

To help and meet parents in the community we’re offering 3 free session for kids to have their first dental visit!

The sessions are: 
Dr. Austin Monday 20th May 3.30pm – 4.30pm
Dr. Andrew: Tuesday 21st May 11:45am – 12:45pm 
Dr. Sang: Wednesday 29th May 11:15am – 12:15pm

If you like our Facebook and Instagram page – you’ll also go into to the draw to win 1 of 4 Playdoh play dentist packs.

Please call or message us to arrange your FREE first dental appointment today!
(07) 3878 3889 

Baby Bottle Decay (Early childhood caries)

Baby Bottle Decay (Early childhood caries)

We’ve noticed that quite a few of our patients coming in are bringing in cute little babies too! Let’s take a look at some of the dangers baby bottle decay (aka early childhood caries) can create.

We quite frequently get asked ‘is there anything I need to worry about with newborns’ teeth?’

The one issue that newborns’ parents need to keep in mind is baby bottle decay (Early childhood caries). This commonly occurs in the top front teeth and can also affect others and starts when baby’s teeth are exposed for a long time to sugar – allowing bacteria to metabolise the sugar and cause decay.

The two things we can control then are – the bacteria in bub’s mouth and bub’s exposure to sugar. The bacteria is in all adults but not in young babies. Babies will inevitably get introduced to the bacteria but lessening the load can reduce the risk of decay. For that reason it’s best to try to not share eating utensil like spoons with bub for the first few months.

Reducing sugar is also the other way to lessen the risk of decay. This includes avoiding putting sweet drinks like juices into bottles and avoiding using bottles as a pacifier. Both of these aspects lead to bubs having long term exposure to sugars on teeth and together with the metabolising bacteria can cause decay in bub’s teeth.

Baby Bottle Decay (Early Childhood Caries)
Baby Bottle Decay (Early Childhood Caries) (source: @invent via unsplash.com)

A few tips to keep in mind when caring for bub:

  • Try not to share utensils like spoons and licking dummies.
  • After a feed, wipe your bub’s gums with damp gauze or washcloth
  • Remember to brush bub’s teeth when they first come in, and regularly every day after to enforce good habits with a non-fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Avoid filling bottles with juice – stick with breast milk, formula or water
  • Although hard to control, try to finish a feed and wipe over the mouth before putting bub to bed.
  • Don’t dip dummies into sugar or honey

A good time to bring bub into the dentist is when the first teeth start appearing so we can run through with you how to look after and clean bub’s teeth!

Dental Health Tips for Parents

Dental health tips for parents – even as many adults can attest to, the dentist can be a very uncomfortable place for kids – but it doesn’t have to be! Use these 4 tips to get the littlies skipping in and out of the dental chair with big white smiles on their dials!

Bring the kiddies in when younger for a hassle free appointment 

Prevention really is key here. Bringing kids in for a check-up appointments when young prevents both traumatic appointments for kids as well as allowing us to spot potential issues earlier. This means less tears for the kids, you and your wallet!
 

Dental health tips for parents – Stay away from the big no-no word

There are some words we all cringe at. Even if kids don’t completely understand the dental jargon – they’re very good at picking up on negative connotations of words. Some kids really respond well to letting them know what is to be expected with fillings whilst others don’t so see what walk best for each of your children. Some words we use that work well when explaining procedures include:
 
  • Dentist Tips For KidsAnaesthetic – sleepy juice
  • Certain drills – tooth ticklers
  • Suction unit – mini vacuum
  • Tooth cleaning agents – tooth shampoo
  • Decay – bugs
  • Fillings – stars
 
Our staff work extensively with kids and love to spend the time explaining procedures to kids.
 

Tips for Parents: Let them know what the dentist does to help 

We have many aids and presents for kids to help them ease them into the dentist and help the look forward to the next appointment. These include:
 

TV’s on the ceilings

We give the kids the chance to choose what they would like to watch on tv whilst their teeth are being checked out. As many parents can attest to – Paw Patrol and Lego really help calm the jitters!
 

Presents for good kids

We have a treasure chest of toys that kids! After a good appointment the kids can look through the chest and choose a toy to take home with them. They can choose a toy every time they have a good appointment!
 

Polaroids 

We like to leave the family with good memories of the dentist so after we polish up that smile we like to leave the kids with a Polaroid to take home!
 

Bring them in in the morning

Kids tend to be more compliant in the morning – before they get too tired with the rigours of the day. Bringing the littlies in for a morning appointments shortly after breakfast also means that if they require anaesthetic they don’t have to worry about eating whilst being numb which can be harder to handle. Please contact us if we can help!

Deciduous teeth – When Do Baby Teeth Fall Out?

Baby teeth can sometimes be referred to as deciduous, primary or milk teeth. We often get questions about parents worried about baby teeth that have come out too early or have been retained for too long – so we’re here to with a guide of why they’re there, what to look for, when to look for it

Why do we need baby teeth?

 Although baby teeth are eventually replaced after exfoliation, it is very important to look after them as they serve several roles for kids. 

  • To use for eating a healthy nutritious diet

Having a healthy functioning baby teeth allows for great habits in chewing and eating

  • To act as a space saver for a straighter adult smile

A deciduous tooth will hold the necessary space for the adult tooth that will replace in. Each tooth also acts as a guide to help the adult tooth erupt into the right position. This is why losing teeth early through decay or trauma can sometimes lead to a lack of space and adult teeth erupting beyond their normal position

When should I expect teeth to fall out?

We get many questions and concerns about teeth that have seemingly held on forever or teeth that have exfoliated very early – especially when compared to classmates or siblings. The above chart can aid in knowing what is normal but also keep in mind there is natural variation amongst individual kids. What is also very importance is the sequence at which teeth are lost, as teeth exfoliating out of order can sometimes mean that an adult tooth is missing 

Other important things to remember about deciduous teeth include:

  • The enamel shell of baby teeth is thinner than adult teeth. Therefore it does not take long before a small hole to become large and painful.
  • Missing teeth is a generic trait – so it follows that if missing teeth are in the family, early diagnosis can open up more treatment options
  • Regular check-ups are very important in preventing small problems becoming more serious and in helping kids get used to easy dental appointments.

Please contact us on 3878 3889 or click here to ask online if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to see the friendly team at Polished Dental!