Brush up on your child's dental health. Top tips on cleaning their teeth - and sugar-filled foods exposed

Brush up on your child's dental health - here are the top tips on cleaning teeth and sugar swaps.

Britain's tops dentist say schools should go sugar-free to tackle the growing problem of child tooth decay.

A report released by the Faculty of Dental Surgery shows that tooth decay has led to more than 100,000 hospital admissions for those under the age of ten in just a three-year period.

Efforts to tackle the problem include tooth-brushing and healthy eating.

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Choosing healthier foods can more easier than you think, by changing your diet you can make a big difference to your dental health.

Here are a few sugar swaps for kids courtesy of Change 4 Life and the NHS:

  • Swap cereal for porridge, wheat biscuits, shredded wholegrain and top with natural yoghurt or fruit.

  • Swap white breads, bagels and muffins for wholegrain varieties.

  • Swap a cheddar cheese filling in your sandwich for reduced-fat hard cheese.

  • Instead of chocolate or pudding pots try sugar-free jelly, a slice of malt loaf, fresh or tinned fruit (in juice).

  • For the 4pm tummy rumbles pick a scotch pancake, crumpets, crackers topped with lower-fat cheese.

  • Swap creamy or cheesy sauces for tomato- or vegetable-based sauces on your pasta, meat or fish dishes.

  • Choose leaner cuts of meat – for example, swap streaky bacon for back bacon.

  • Swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat.

  • Try a cordial with no added sugar instead of a cordial.

  • Swap a few of your sugary drinks for a glass of water.

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Student's at a breakfast club in St. Clement's C. of E. Primary Academy in Neechells, Birmingham agree that sugar isn't healthy for teeth.

Here are the main myths busters on brushing your teeth from the British Dental Association:

  • Brushing your teeth once a day is fine - No, it isn't. To help protect your teeth you need to brush for at least two minutes, twice a day.

  • I can use mouthwash instead of brushing - No – nothing beats brushing. Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can help to prevent tooth decay, but it doesn't replace brushing to ensure food build-up and plaque are removed from your teeth.

  • Do I have to clean between my teeth - Cleaning between your teeth is very important and this can be done with either interdental brushes or floss. The smaller interdental brushes work very well and if you have tight contacts then you may need to use floss.

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