Oral health for kids: Jun'13

Tags: Children , Dental , Teeth

Dr Uchenna Okoye believes a fantastic smile is the key to boosting confidence and with her approach of treating people holistically.

Uchenna is the official dentist on Channel 4’s ’10 Years Younger’. She is at the forefront of trends and innovations and is a regular guest of BBC Breakfast.

Dr Uchenna Okoye discussed kids oral health, teeth cleaning and why it's so important.

LauraCYMFT asked: From what age can a child use a mouthwash?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: Really as soon as they are able to understand and spit it out
Main one I recommend is a fluoride mouthwash once the adult teeth come through

A Residence asked: Help! My 4yo hates brushing his teeth and shows no interest in brushing himself, how can I encourage him? Thanks,Penny

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: Easy one, buy them an electric toothbrush.  I promise it works everytime! OralB do a great range
Important for an adult to brush at least once a day until kids are about 8years old.  The nightime brush is the most important

secretfairy asked: I have three kids and one has very yellow teeth the others are okay. Does something happen during pregnancy that affects the whiteness of your child's teeth? Thank you.  

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: It is rare, but yes maternal illness can affect childrens teeth
It is unlikely to be the reason for the yellow teeth as it has affected all of them.  Your tooth is made up of dentine which is yellow and enamel which makes teeth appear white.  Somethimes more of the dentine shows through. Yellow teeth doesn't mean there is a problem :)

Ruth asked: When should dental care start for babies/kids?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: As soon as the teeth appear.  Many people ignore baby teeth because they think they are only around for the short term.  However they actually guide the adult teeth into place so if you loose any of them, it can cause problems in the future. Initially you can just use a flannel, especially as teeth just start appearing.  Then get a baby toothbrush as they as small and soft

Andy_M asked: My dad still has a lot of his baby teeth in his lower set and he's nearly 60. Is it common for kids to keep some of their baby teeth

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: It is not that common, but more common than you think  :) As long as there is no adult tooth behind, I leave them alone as they can last for many many years, as the case with your dad.  It tends to be genetic and often runs in families

Heather asked: Should children be using mouthwash and flossing as well as brushing?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: In the states this is normal.  In the UK I'm still working on the adults :) If you can motivate kids to get into good habits early on, then will help them keep their teeth healthy for life

Anonymous89 asked: What should I expect during my baby's first visit to the dentist?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: Most important thing I feel is that they have fun and it is a great experience so they look forward to next time. I recommend check-ups start any time from about 6 months or from when the teeth start to appear.The dentist will check the development of teeth and the tissues of the mouth, maybe run through brushing techniques. There will usually not be any xrays taken unless there is a specific problem.


florrie asked: Is it normal for a child at 10 to have a filling?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: I don't think it's normal but it very common. Sugar is the main culprit that caused tooth decay and so fillings.  It's important not to just cut down the amount of sugar but also the frequency.  If eating a packet of sweets, they should finish it in one go rather than making it last the whole day

Susanna asked: What is normal in terms of milk teeth falling out? At what age should we worry that they're still there?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: Baby/Milk  teeth have usually developed before your child is born and will start to come through at around 6 months. All 20 baby teeth should be through by the age of 2. The time to get worried is if the adult tooth has started to come through but the milk tooth is still there. That's the time to see the dentist as it might need a helping hand.  If left it can affect the sequence of other teeth coming through.

maude asked: Hi, how dangerous is adult toothpaste?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Hi Maude, do you mean if dangerous for kids?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: The only real issue with adult toothpastes for kids is the amount of fluoride.  Fluoride is great for protecting teeth from sugar attack. All children up to 3 years old, should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm-1500ppm. You can check the level of fluoride on the packaging of the toothpaste. Children should be supervised up to the age of 7, and you should make sure that they spit out the toothpaste and don't swallow any if possible.

Ev asked: What are the main things to look out for to spot any mouth problems in small children?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: Look for colour. If suddenly very yellow, especially around the gums, like clotted cream, often due to plaque build up Sometimes kids teeth can actually look green, again due to the same reason, thats a specific type of bacteria. Brown/black often a sign of tooth decay. If baby teeth not getting loose especially if the adult ones are coming through, I recommend a check with the dentist

AXA PPP healthcare asked: Hi we've had a question from one of our bloggers - How do you encourage kids to clean their teeth?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered: Buy them an electric toothbrush, works every time. Fun and much more efficient than manual.  OralB do brushes for kids but after about 10, an adult one is ok.  If young kids an egg timer is fun and of course the old trick of a chart where stickers given for good brushing. Disclosing tablets are great for helping kids learn where they miss when brushing.  Important to use them after brushing completed

AXA PPP healthcare asked:
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