The Community Dental Service in Coventry is encouraging parents and carers to take their babies to see the dentist early, even before their first teeth come through.
Every 10 minutes a child in England is admitted to hospital to have a rotten tooth removed. Tooth decay can start very early causing pain, sleepless nights and days off nursery or school and work for parents, and often it can be prevented with a little trip to the dentist.
Even if they don’t manage to look in a baby’s mouth, dentists can provide valuable advice and tips on how to maintain healthy gums, teeth and mouths throughout key stages in their development. They can also give tips on getting the best from tooth brushing, advise on sugar, healthy eating and drinking and also offer treatments to prevent decay. Bringing babies to the dentist early helps them to get used to the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice, which is vital in making sure they are comfortable in a dental practice as they grow older.
Claire Ford the Oral Health Lead for the Community Dental Service, said: “We want our babies to have the very best possible start in life in all areas of their health, including their mouths. It’s easy to reduce the risk of tooth decay and start healthy routines early, simply by taking your baby on a little trip to the dentist. Babies and children are seen for free at NHS dentists, as well as pregnant women and new mums for a year after birth, so it is really important parents and carers book appointments even before first teeth start to come through.”
Parents can find their local dental practice at www.nhs.uk