Keeping your mouth healthy from an early age is important, as it allows you to keep your teeth and have nice-smelling breath.
The causes of tooth decay
- Tooth location – decay frequently occurs in the back teeth (molars and premolars). This is because they have grooves and pits which collect food particles and are harder to keep clean than the front smoother teeth.
- Foods and drinks that cling to your teeth longer, like milk, honey, ice cream, sugar and unhealthy food in general.
- Frequent snacking, including fizzy drinks.
- Feeding children at bedtime, inadequate brushing and not getting enough fluoride from their toothpaste.
Making sure you and your family have healthy teeth
- Cleaning your teeth well will reduce the chances of tooth decay, cavities and other mouth issues.
- Regular visits to your dentist are essential.
- To prevent tooth decay in children 0-6 years, breastfeed babies up to 6 months and wean them on sugar free food.
- Parents should help with tooth brushing as soon as teeth start growing. Use only a smear of tooth paste (pea-sized) amount.
- Children should eat a well-balanced diet with a controlled amount of sugar.
Local services in Enfield
- The distribution of Brushing for Life pack to each child’s first contact, explaining and demonstrating the importance and benefits of fluoride, healthy eating and good teeth brushing techniques.
- Dental fun days – workshops and one-to-ones, demonstrations and displays with oral health messages and support.
- The Parent Dental Advocates programme, which gives groups of interested parents the skills to pass on oral health messages through peer to peer learning.
- Fluoride varnishing programme in schools.
Advice and referrals
- The Oral Health Promotion team accepts referrals from multidisciplinary care agencies and clients themselves. This includes Early Years Practitioners, health visitors, children’s centre staff, Home Start and ETAAP staff. Contact 020 8370 2514 to make referral.