mother helping young child brush her teeth

Looking after children’s oral health during the coronavirus pandemic

Following Government advice, our dental practices are available for telephone support and guidance for ongoing treatment or emergency dental issues. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, we can no longer offer routine dental care right now.

We’ve created some useful tips to help you look after your children’s oral health while they can’t see a dentist for your usual check-up, including brushing, keeping your kids engaged in their oral health and how to spot a dental problem.

Keep brushing

Brushing your children’s teeth isn’t always easy, especially when you’re out of your usual daily routine. But it’s important to make sure their teeth are brushed thoroughly twice a day.

Brushing their teeth removes plaque, which prevents tooth decay and problems that come with it, such as toothache. You won’t be able to have a check-up during the coronavirus pandemic, so it’s even more vital you keep brushing.

Watch our handy video where Susie Lloyd, a Bupa Dental Care dentist, outlines her tips for brushing and demonstrates how to brush a child’s teeth with both a manual and electric toothbrush.

Choose the right toothpaste and toothbrush

A good brushing technique is key, but it’s also important you choose the right toothpaste which is appropriate for your child’s age. You should always use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as this helps prevent tooth decay.

  • If your child is under three: Use a child’s toothpaste that’s age appropriate. These usually contain about 1000 parts per million (PPM) fluoride. You can find this information on the packaging
  • If your child is over three and doesn’t have any permanent teeth: Use a child’s toothpaste which contains around 1350PPM of fluoride
  • Once your child has any of their permanent teeth: Start to use an adult toothpaste which contains 1450PPM fluoride, for maximum protection

It doesn’t matter if you use an electric or manual toothbrush, as long as you’ve got a good technique.

Look out for those sneaky sugars

While you’re out of routine, it can be easy to let bad habits creep in. While sugary treats are fine in moderation, you need to make sure you’re still looking after your children’s oral health.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce sugar in your child’s diet, read our article on sugar smart swaps for kids for more information.

Keep kids engaged with their oral health

Getting kids engaged with their oral health can be challenging. But there’s different ways to make brushing time fun, which can also make for fun lockdown activities:

  • Make brushing fun by cleaning your child’s teeth to their favourite song or using an app like Brush DJ
  • Create a brushing reward chart to keep kids engaged in brushing their teeth.
  • Try out fun baking recipes at home, like our low-sugar banana bread recipe

How to spot a problem

If your child has a dental problem, they might have symptoms including:

  • Toothache
  • Staining on their teeth which looks like brown, black or white spots
  • Pain when they bite down, or you might notice they’re avoiding eating on one side of their mouth
  • Swelling in or around the gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold foods such as ice cream or hot drinks
  • An unpleasant taste in their mouth

If your child is in pain, read our article about managing toothache and other common dental problems at home. If you need further support, you can also call your local practice for advice.

If you can manage the pain at home, you should still visit your local practice to get checked out once it reopens for routine dental care.

From Bupa Dental Care

The health, wellbeing and safety of our patients, their families and our people remain our top priority at Bupa Dental Care. We’d like to thank our patients for their understanding during the COVID-19 situation.

Once it is safe for our practices to re-open, we encourage you to get in touch and book an appointment. The latest status of our practices can be found at: Caring for you during COVID-19. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, find and contact your local Bupa Dental Care practice who can offer telephone support and advice to patients with urgent need. They can also direct you to the most appropriate support location if further care is needed.

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