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Teeth for Life

Preventative dental care for children

About the author: Dr Angela Gilhespie

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About the author. Full-time dentist in private practice, (limited to children), Jhb.

Qualified University of London, UK.

Mother of two children (in early 20’s)


Why did you write the book? Parents need to know how to prevent dental problems in their child. This information, unfortunately, is not easily available. The book contains what I needed to know (and more!) to ensure my own children went into adult life with beautiful healthy smiles.


Who needs to read the book? Every prospective or new parent. Caregivers (fathers, relative, teachers) will also benefit. The earlier it is read the better; prevention of dental problems must occur from the beginning. This is the perfect stork party gift!


Abc Book Cover email mags.jpgIsn’t dental decay declining? Statistics for the U.S. (CDC figures) give >40% of children under the 5yrs. have tooth decay. It’s called the “silent epidemic” as so few parents are aware of its existence. I know this figure is far higher in South Africa.


Is this because children don’t brush their teeth? Brushing does not prevent tooth decay. It can’t because most decay occurs in the fissures (grooves) on teeth or between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t get access. That doesn’t mean don’t brush; that’s important for gum health.


What do you think is the challenge for our children’s teeth? Teeth break down in acid. The main culprit for this is acidic drinks: fruit juices, cold drinks and sport’s drinks. The exponential growth in their consumption has resulted in severe breakdown of our children’s teeth. ‘Bottle’ decay is a tragic example of this. This is one disease we can wipe out by education.


What are your hopes for this book? I hope every parent who sees the book (there are a lot of pictures!) will think about what they are giving their child to eat and drink. I hope no mum will give her child a bottle of fruit juice, cold drink, sport’s drink or flavoured sugary milk after reading the book. I want all parents to make preventative dental care a top priority for their child.


Copyright  © Dr. A. Gilhespie 2008. All rights reserved.