Do you look after your teeth and gums? It is important because if you do, your teeth should last for the rest of your life.
By the time children in the UK are five years old, nearly half of them have some tooth decay. This needn't happen if you think about the effect of sugar on children's teeth from the beginning.
Amongst 15 year olds this rises to over 90%
Remember a 'sweet tooth' may develop in childhood so never add sugar or salt to a baby's food
Dummies or soothers should not be dipped in anything
Only EVER give milk or water in a bottle
Check for sugar content on labels of pre-prepared food and encourage your child to makehealthy choices at snack times. Remember sugar is often "hidden" in foods.
Try to think of alternatives to sweets for presents and treats
Adults as well as children can reduce the 'attacks' on our teeth by keeping sugary drinks and snacks to mealtimes only. Water and milk are the safest drinks between meals.
Try munching on fruit, chopped up vegetables, breadsticks, crackers or pitta bread
Build up your defence by brushing your teeth thoroughly every day with a fluoride toothpaste; use a dry toothbrush and spit out the paste but don't rinse your mouth.
An adult should assist children up to around age 7 to brush and a toothpaste with a 1000 parts per million fluoride (ppmF) should be used. Babies should have a smear of toothpaste (1000 ppmF) on the brush, toddlers and children should use a pea sized amount. Children 7 years plus and adults should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste 1450 ppmF.
Visit your dentist regularly - at least once a year