If you have young children, then it is important that they are able to look after their teeth for themselves. After babies have grown their first teeth, the set they have will need to last them up until the age of seven or eight. Without a proper healthcare regime in place, youngsters' teeth can decay. Although some people think that this is not much of a problem because their adult teeth will replace the initial set, nothing could be further from the truth. Poorly looked-after junior teeth can lead to all sorts of problems into adulthood and can even lead to lifelong dental conditions. What do you need to know to help maintain healthy teeth and gums in children?

Visit the Dentist Together

If you take the time to head to check-ups every six months or so, then your children will soon learn that looking after your teeth is something that is the rule rather than the exception. Just like seeing a doctor for the first time, visiting the dentist as a child can cause some worries. Modern family dentistry is all about seeing children and their parents together to provide a reassuring environment which is about learning how to look after your teeth as much as it is about providing remedial care.

Brush Every Day

Some kids will only get around to brushing their teeth once a day, perhaps before they go to bed. This is better than nothing, but, ideally, you should get children into the habit of brushing their teeth after every meal. For toddlers, it is preferable to brush their teeth for them until they get used to the techniques involved for reaching every part of the mouth. Specialist toothpaste, which is designed for junior teeth, is advisable as it is not beneficial for children to brush with adult toothpastes regularly.

Avoid Sugar

As well as causing obesity in some children, excessive amounts of sugar will cause young teeth – which are smaller and have less protective enamel – to rot. An especially bad form of sugar is in carbonated drinks which means the sugar coats all of the teeth and gums. Remember that sugar does not simply break down teeth, but it also encourages bacteria in the mouth to grow which can lead to problems of things like gum disease. If you give your kids sweets, then make sure that they are a treat. Try to eat them all in one go so they'll have less of an impact on teeth, too.