Why too many under fives need a dentist


A whopping 55 per cent of three to five-year olds already have a filling, according to a new dental survey from FOREO.

Here’s some advice on daily tooth cleaning from dentist Dr Mark Hughes:

Two minutes might as well be two years to a toddler.

Solution: Children definitely live in a parallel world where two minutes can seem like a lifetime (unless they have two minutes left before bed). To combat this problem, you need to make the timings a game.

They want to do it themselves… but don’t have the technique.

Solution: If they want to do it themselves, let them (for a bit). We all know children love to copy their parents, so brush yours at the same time to encourage them to use the same techniques. Once you’re done, let them help you, before helping them with hard-to-reach areas.

They use the brush as some kind of chew toy.

Solution: It’s normal for kids to bite down on their brush, especially while you are attempting to get to the-hard-to reach areas. A little tickle can be effective - just be careful of your fingers!

Brushing a small child’s teeth effectively is so hard!

Solution: Start by sitting or standing behind your child and cupping their chin in your hand. Angle the bristles of the toothbrush towards the gums and move the brush in gentle circles to clean the outer and inner sides of the teeth and gums. A good portion of time should be spent on the back molars, as this is an area where cavities often first develop. Then lift your child’s lips to brush the front and back of the teeth and end by gently brushing their tongue. Use an amount of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice to start, graduating to a pea sized by age three.

* The FOREO ISSATM mikro and ISSATM mini 2 toothbrush have a built-in timer and flash a smiley face when two minutes are complete. Little ones can chew without fear of breaking a tooth and the ultra-hygienic, medical grade silicone and PBT polymer harbours 10,000 less bacteria than nylon brush heads.

FOREO ISSATM mikro is available from foreo.com, RRP £79, and the ISSATM mini 2 is available from Selfridges, RRP £99.