What is the ‘A Little Trip To The Dentist’ Campaign ?
Developed in partnership with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s campaign aims to increase the number of families in the West Midlands taking their babies to a dentist before their first teeth come through.
As babies gradually start to eat like the rest of the family it’s important that they aren’t introduced to too many ‘free sugars’. These can be found in all sorts of food and drink including puddings, buns, custards, biscuits, cereal bars, flavoured yoghurts, breakfast cereals, squash and flavoured milk. Many parents may not know that things like unsweetened fruit juices, fruit purees, smoothies, and ingredients such as fruit juice concentrate, syrups, nectars and molasses are high in free sugars.
A healthy balanced diet based on starchy foods, protein foods, vegetables, fruit, and dairy without free sugars is best for babies’ teeth. It’s a good idea to get babies used to the different textures and tastes of fruit and vegetables themselves rather than too many ready-made juices, purees or ‘fruit equivalent’ snacks which are high in sugar.
Early visits to the dentist can help families get a better understanding of the effects sugar can have, offering a valuable opportunity to get advice on reducing sugars in diets. Dentists can also give useful tips on how the way we consume food might make a difference. For example, eating dried fruit as part of a meal instead of a separate snack reduces the impact the sugar can have on teeth.
It also ensures that a dentist can spot problems before they get worse and highlight any areas in an oral health routine which could need improvements. And if no treatment is needed, it’s a great way of helping families and children feel comfortable, making future check-ups much easier.
DID YOU KNOW ?
You can search the campaign on social media using the hashtag #ALittleTripToTheDentist or @NHSMIDLANDS
- Children are consuming up to 3 times the recommended daily sugar intake, and with fewer than 1 in 5 children having been to the dentist before they’re 2 #ALittleTripToTheDentist is more important than ever
- Children eating too much sugar can damage teeth & cause them to become overweight, increasing their chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Families can get advice on healthier diets with #ALittleTripToTheDentist
- Comfort sucking from a bottle containing sweetened drinks causes tooth decay in young children. Drinks flow very slowly through a teat, which means the sugary substance will be in contact with their teeth for longer. #ALittleTripTotheDentist
Planning #ALittleTripToTheDentist for yourself? Why not book an appointment for your children at the same time? They go free and early visits are invaluable in helping to develop good routines!