How to brush kids’ teeth

Brush your teeth in the mirror together

The Australian Dental Association have cited a current ‘epidemic’ of child tooth decay in Australia.

In a recent study, it was found that 48 percent of children suffered from untreated tooth decay, but only 10 percent had seen a dentist. This means that almost half of Australian children under the age of four are suffering from untreated tooth decay.

“Children start losing their first set of teeth from about the age of six and lose all of them by 12. However, these baby teeth are important for long term dental health,” President of the Australian Dental Association, Dr Neil Hewson said.

“A child’s primary teeth are as important to them as their permanent teeth.

“Baby or primary teeth help a young child to learn to chew and speak properly, and importantly, these teeth reserve the correct space in a child’s gums for the ‘eruption’ of their permanent teeth when they are older”.

Dr Eva Kaiser, Principal Scientist for Oral-B recommends parents start educating children on dental hygiene as soon as their first baby teeth appear, by brushing your teeth with your child so that they can use copying and mirroring to help learn the technique.

“Keep the fun by cleaning your teeth in the mirror together, correcting them if they do it wrong, Dr Kaiser said.

Look-out for brightly coloured and designed toothbrushes, some electric toothbrushes even play music while they brush!

“Electric toothbrushes are better for cleaning teeth with fixed braces attached” Dr Kaiser said.

Dr Hewson says tooth decay is the most common preventable disease and should be treated seriously.

“Tooth decay is a disease and needs to be treated as such. It is one of the most common and preventable diet related diseases. It needs to be understood that prevention is achievable and better than a cure,” he said.

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