At Taggart Dental Care we are strongly focused on prevention of tooth decay and gum disease and this is particularly important in children and young adults.
We are providers of the Childsmile programme, a preventative health programme lead by NHS Scotland.
Childsmile is aimed at parents to encourage them to bring their children into the surgery environment from the age of 6 months, the aim is to encourage good oral hygiene, to instruct on diet and to apply fluoride to the teeth to strengthen them. At the same time we want every child to become used to the sights, sounds and smells of a visit to the dental practice from a very young age.
By doing this we hope that he/she will grow up much happier to go along to the dental team as part of a normal routine.
This is a great programme which is helping to make massive inroads into the historically poor dental health in Scotland.
The Childsmile programme is based on practical advice for the real world. We all understand that kids love sweets and sugary foods and we want to be able treat them to the things they like. Sugars are found increasingly in so many of the foods and drinks on offer.
Sugar (like oil) is a tradable commodity, so someone is making money out of including it in virtually all foods!
There is also a tendency for foods and drinks to be made more and more attractive and palatable, especially to children; and adding sugar is one way to do this. Beware that there are many different types of sugar, all of which are equally damaging to teeth.
We understand that it can be extremely difficult to keep your child’s sugar consumption limited, but we will do our best to advise you on how to minimise your child’s risk of decay. The frequency of sugar intake is key; even in small amounts frequent sugar leads to a big increase in tooth decay. Although small amounts of sugar may not lead to weight gain they will definitely (over a relatively short period) lead to tooth decay.
We aim to help our junior patients and their carers develop strategies to keep their teeth healthy, while still enjoying the foods they like.
In addition to the services covered by the Childsmile programme we can also apply fissure sealants to your child’s molar teeth. This helps to even out the naturally rough chewing surface of the teeth and so helps protect them from decay.
Summary of Childsmile goals:
Good oral hygiene – your child’s teeth should be brushed twice daily with an appropriate fluoride toothpaste as soon as baby teeth appear, which is usually at around 6 months. Toothbrushing should be supervised by an adult until around 8 years of age.
Diet – Briefly; we should avoid anything which is sweet tasting between meals, unless it is naturally occurring (for example fruit). Simply reducing the frequency with which sweet foods and drinks are given, even while keeping the quantity the same, will reduce the risk of decay.
Ideally sugary treats would be given only at meal times.
Fluoride Application – As part of the Childsmile programme we would encourage you to allow us to coat your child’s teeth with topical fluoride, starting when they are 18 months old. This hardens the surface of the teeth making them more resistant to decay. This starts at 18 months of age and is repeated every 6 months