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Healthy tips to keep your children smiling all year round

Good oral health in childhood is essential to building good overall health for the rest of one’s life. Yet, Tooth decay is the most common health condition amongst children worldwide. By maintaining a healthy diet and appropriate dental care up to 90 per cent of all dental disease can be prevented. The following are some easy tips to ensure your children grow up to experience a healthy mouth for the rest of their lives

Prevention

Decay can occur as soon as teeth start appearing in a child’s mouth. Therefore it is recommended children should see a dentist as early as their first birthday.

  • Brushing teeth twice a day can decrease decay up to 25%. Children should be supervised by a parent up until the age of 8.
  • Use a toothbrush that has soft round ended bristles of different heights so that teeth and gums are cleaned effectively without damage.
  • You should begin flossing your child’s teeth by age 4. Children should be able to take over by themselves around age 8.
  • By age 6 children can begin using a pea sized amount of regular adult fluoride toothpaste when brushing. This will assist in building healthy and strong teeth.
  • Keep toothbrushes clean and never share. Decay causing bacteria is contagious; toothbrushes should be kept separately and always rinsed after use.

Diet

A child’s diet plays a significant role in the health of their teeth. Developing healthy childhood eating habits can help reduce oral health issues in the future.

  • Avoid snacking – sipping and chewing on food over long periods increases the chance of acid developing and damaging tooth enamel.
  • Limit starchy and sugary foods and encourage foods rich in calcium that will help protect teeth by neutralising bad acids e.g. cheese and yoghurt
  • Avoid carbonated and sugary beverages. If unavoidable, using a straw can minimise acid exposure to teeth.
  • Instead of drinking beverage such as juice and soft drink encourage children to drink fluoridated tap water if they are thirsty.
  • Make sure children don’t eat or drink anything but water after night time brushing.

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  • Data from AIHW states that the introduction of fluoridated tap water triggered a drastic decrease in childhood tooth decays between 1977-1996.
  • Since 1996 CTD has been steadily rising due to less tap water intake and increased consumption of high sugar and energy dense foods and beverages.
  • 35% of dental plaque is found between teeth and can only be removed by flossing. Daily flossing can also increase your life expectancy up to six years.
  • The most common reason for Australian pre-schoolers to be admitted to hospital is tooth decay with more than half suffering from decay by age 6.
  • The ADA estimates that poor oral health accounts for 600,000 lost school days per annum.
  • People who drink three or more sugary drinks a day increase their chance of fillings, tooth loss and dental caries by 62%.

 
*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare *Australia Dental Association
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The content on the LifeCare Dental website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice received from your dentist, doctor or other registered health professionals. LifeCare Dental makes no claim as to the accuracy or authenticity of this content.

Additionally, LifeCare Dental does not accept liability to any person for the information or advice provided on this website or incorporated into it by reference. Content has been prepared for Western Australian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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