Children’s Week is celebrated once a year in Australia, in the fourth week of October (from 21–29 this year). In 1996 it was given the permanent theme: “A Caring World Shares” as a reflection of its aims.
As part of Children’s Week, Smiles Nambour would like to share the message of oral health for children.
If children grow up with healthy teeth and good oral hygiene, they have a great chance of having them for life, avoiding dental issues, and enjoying better health in adulthood.
So, in support of Children’s Week, we are highlighting the importance of looking after your teeth from an early age.
Healthy Teeth Makes For Healthy Children
The sooner you start teaching oral hygiene to your children, the sooner they will develop good habits that last a lifetime, ensuring their great smiles and improved overall health.
Also, starting early prevents some oral health problems that affect children more commonly and consequentially than they do adults.
Unfortunately, as most parents know, getting little ones to brush and floss can be an ongoing battle. Which is why Smiles Nambour is happy to share the following strategies to make children’s oral hygiene easier on everyone!
Begin At-Home Hygiene Early
It is never too early to start taking your child’s oral hygiene seriously. Prevent “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay” by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad as early as a few days after birth. Once teeth erupt through the gums, brush them with a child-sized toothbrush and water. The earlier you begin with at-home hygiene, the more quickly your children will become comfortable with the process.
Visit Your Dentist Early
In general, it is time for a dental visit when your baby’s first tooth becomes visible or when they reach 12 months old – whichever comes first. If you notice anything you think is out of the ordinary before this time it’s better to err on the side of caution and book an appointment immediately.
The earlier your child visits the dentist the better. The earlier you begin, the better chance your dentist has to prevent problems. In addition to checking for decay and other problems, the dentist will teach you how to properly clean your child’s teeth daily, evaluate any harmful habits such as thumbsucking, and identify your child’s fluoride needs. Dental visits at an early age help your child avoid unnecessary dental problems and build a lifetime of good dental habits.
Set a Good Example
Make sure that you take good care of your own teeth, and brush and floss in front of your child. Much of what they learn at an early age comes from watching and duplicating, and if they see everyone in the family taking care of their teeth, they will have less trouble picking up the habit once they are old enough to brush for themselves.
Teach Core Skills
Teach your child the skills needed to achieve good oral health as early as you can. It doesn’t take a lot to maintain a smile for a lifetime, but it is crucial that your child internalize these simple rules:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss every day
- Avoid starchy and sugary foods
- Visit a dentist regularly for checkups
Make it Fun
If your child does not want to brush or floss, consider using fun aids that might be able to make it easier on you.
- Get a toothbrush and toothpaste with their favorite cartoon character on it, or colourful designs
- Turn brushing and flossing into a game
- Offer some kind of incentive or reward
- Watch videos focused on oral health education for kids that use popular characters
- Don’t give children “minty” toothpastes. Although they taste good for most adults, children can interpret their ‘tingle’ as burning.
Smiles Nambour and your Child’s Dental Health
Parents are of primary importance in teaching dental hygiene, but it’s important that your dentist helps as well. When it’s time for that important first visit, contact us at Smiles Nambour and learn about what we can offer your child.
To support children’s dental health, we bulk bill for young patients eligible for the Child Dental Benefit Schedule, which provides basic dental services to qualifying children. CDBS services are capped at $1,000 over two consecutive calendar years. The two-year cap period starts when a patient first receives an eligible dental service.
Your Trusted Family Dentist in Nambour
If you have a child in need of treatment, or any other dental issues, do not hesitate to call us at Smiles Nambour on (07) 5441 4438.
Visit us today and take advantage of CDBS (Child Dental Benefits Schedule) and receive up to $1,000 worth of basic dental treatments over 2 calendar years.
Smiles Nambour is open from Monday to Saturday to cater to all your dental needs.