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National Smile Month

National Smile Month: Nurturing healthy mouths across the UK May 13th – June 13th 2019

All parents want the best for their child – now and in the future. There’s a lot that comes into play here: our impact on the environment, a healthy lifestyle fuelled by nutritious food and fun exercise, development overall as a human being and of course, taking care of brand new teeth – something we should all be shouting about until June 13th for National Smile Month!

The way us mums and dads choose to nurture healthy oral development by encouraging great habits early on is absolutely vital for our kids later in life. Introducing proper dental hygiene as soon as those first teeth pop through is of course an essential part of this, as is ditching bottles and sippy cups and instead, choosing an ergonomically designed cup, such as our Babycup First Cup in the first two years of life.

“As Babycup is an open cup it reduces the chances of acid erosion to teeth. It’s also small so babies and young children can easily learn to sip from it. Healthy and useable – I love that! Babycup is recommended for every mealtime.”

Dr Grant McAree BSc (Hons) BDS
The Whyte House Dental Group

There’s a lot to learn when we become parents, and taking care of someone else’s teeth just one of those things. This month is National Smile Month in the UK – the largest and longest-running campaign to promote good oral health – and Babycup is proud to be one of the thousands of individuals and organisations highlighting three key messages which go a long way in helping us develop and maintain a healthy mouth. 

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down on how much sugary food and drink you have, and how often you have them.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

In England alone, 1 in 4 children will have tooth decay when they start school. Each child with tooth decay will have on average 3 to 4 teeth affected, with 12% of 3 year olds having visible dental decay. This was the most common reason for hospital admission for children aged 5 to 9 years in 2012 to 2013 and lays the groundwork for a future of dental troubles. Over 63,000 children aged 0 to 19 years were admitted to hospital for tooth extractions in 2014 to 2015 at a national cost of £50.5m (7.8m spent on under 5s).

But knowing all these stats is one thing. Doing something to ensure that your child grows and maintains a mouth full of healthy teeth is another.

As the key messages featured for National Smile Month cover, brushing well, enjoying a low sugar diet and regular dental visits is a great place to start. But the use of drinking receptacles with spouts and no-spill valves is also of growing concern amongst health professionals – a discover which led our founder, Sara Keel, to create Babycup First Cup to meet her own baby’s needs.

These seemingly child-friendly drinking solutions we so commonly see sold by big-name brands are a huge part of the dental decay problem in young children which is being brought to light by National Smile Month.

Not only are they counter-intuitive to use (have you ever tried using a sippy cup? It doesn’t feel good!) but they are actually potentially damaging for a baby or child’s developing teeth, jaws and palate. 

Babycup is a healthy choice for your child. Choosing an open cup means you are allowing your child to develop a healthy sipping habit. Spouts and no-spill valves that mean a child has to suck, rather than sip, contribute to poor facial and dental development.
 
I’ve treated thousands of children; developing healthy oral habits from an early age has a great influence on how your child’s teeth will develop. A young child’s teeth, jaw and muscles are still growing so it’s a crucial time and parents have the power to steer their infants away from needing extensive orthodontic treatment later in life.

Dr Derek Mahony BDS(Syd) MScOrth(Lon) DOrthRCS(Edin)
Orthodontist, Full Face Orthodontics Pty Ltd, Australia

Aside from investing in your child’s healthy oral development by investing in a pack of Babycup First Cups, brushing teeth and brushing teeth well is crucial. But any fellow parent will tell you that this can sometimes be quite a battle with a toddler!

To help you out for National Smile Month, we’ll be posting a blog next week with a range of fantastic tooth-brushing games and incentives that will make tooth care a breeze…watch this space!

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