Oral Health – Culture and Education

Better education, both within community and Australia-wide is needed to change the way children view the dentist.

The conception has changed dramatically in the past few decades, but this trend needs to continue if we are to reduce levels of dental disease. Health divisions within the government are currently working on ‘…changing the way parents and children prioritise oral health.’

An important inclusion, in the Oral Health 2020 Strategic Framework identified that ‘early childhood caries is a dental decay disease that crosses all socio-economic boundaries with high prevalence.’ This is just a fragment emphasising the need for improvements to oral healthcare in Australia with government support to encourage new mindsets.  Individuals and families are encouraged to take ownership of their oral health choices and prevention strategies.

Early childhood caries have a significant impact on sufferers, which may be physical or psychological.  It’s therefore encouraged that early intervention via education and dental visits play a vital part in every Australian child’s life.

Benefits of positive relationships with dentists

  • Examinations in early childhood encourages good oral hygiene, which will help prevent dental disease and therefore prevent pain or the need for treatment.
  • Educating parents on proper nutrition and oral hygiene for their kids is just as important
  • If a child’s first encounter is frightening or uncomfortable, they will always associate the dental clinic with that distress or discomfort and may be fearful and reluctant to return for regular examinations.  That is why early, positive experiences as a toddler onwards are so important.

How to make a child’s first dental visit a positive one?

  • Bring them in for a fun ride in the chair when they are 2-3 years old so they can be introduced to dentistry in a fun and friendly way
  • Tell them they will get to dress up with sunglasses etc
  • Get them brushing their teeth in the lead up telling them how happy the dentist will be to see their shiny white teeth

In summary here are some tips for toddlers:

  • Limit processed foods and drinks, reduce sugar in the diet as much as possible
  • Brush your toddler’s teeth twice a day

Make an appointment today for your child to come in and have a positive experience with our happy staff and friendly service.