DENTAL FACTS FOR YOUNG FAMILIES. How to keep your family smiling bright.
Why you should pledge this World Oral Health Day
Whatever your age, taking care of your mouth is crucial for your general health and wellbeing. A good oral hygiene routine, regular dental check-ups and a healthy lifestyle will help protect your mouth and body. Pledge to look after your oral health and inspire others to do the same.
Make a pledge for good oral hygiene
PLEDGE TO START GOOD ORAL HEALTH HABITS EARLY
Although a newborn may not have any teeth, it’s important to keep their mouth healthy from day one. Wipe their gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth – especially after feedings and before bedtime – and although it may seem impossible at times, avoid letting your baby sleep with a feeding bottle in their mouth. Once your baby’s first tooth appears, start to clean it twice a day, just
like you should your own. Primary teeth play an important role in saving spaces for permanent teeth.
PLEDGE TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO BRUSH THE RIGHT WAY
Brushing the right way is important for a healthy mouth. Your child should brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste – after breakfast and before bedtime – to help reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Children younger than 3 just need a rice-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste. Children older than 3 use a pea-sized dab. Your child should brush in circular motions – not back and forth. Finally, they should spit but not rinse with water straight after brushing as that can wash the protective fluoride away. Is your child doing all these things already? If not, make a pledge to put it
PLEDGE TO PUT AN END TO LATE-NIGHT SNACKING
Going to bed with a clean mouth is very important. Otherwise, germs stick to our teeth all night which can lead to tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth with an old, frayed toothbrush won’t clean your teeth properly. The average life of a toothbrush is about 3 months.
Make a pledge for regular dental check-ups
PLEDGE TO TAKE YOUR CHILD TO THE DENTIST
Take your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. Regular dental check-ups are important to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. The dental team will remove any build-up of plaque, which if not managed, can lead to tooth decay. They can also advise on how regularly you need to book an appointment for your child, depending on their specific needs. No appointment in the diary?
PLEDGE TO WORK TOGETHER WITH YOUR DENTIST FOR HEALTHY LITTLE MOUTHS
Just like other major diseases, prevention, early detection and treatment are important in keeping your child’s teeth and mouth healthy, and to stop any potential negative effects on the rest of their body. Even better, if you work together with your dentist, your child may never need any treatment at all.
Make a pledge for a healthier lifestyle
PLEDGE TO HELP YOUR CHILD GET RID OF THE PACIFIER
Sucking on a pacifier or a thumb for too long affects the development of your child’s teeth and mouth. Discourage thumb-sucking and extended use of the pacifier, and never dip the pacifier in sugar or honey.
PLEDGE TO FOLLOW OUR BOTTLE-FEEDING TIPS
Place only breastmilk, formula, milk or water in bottles. Refrain from adding sugar to the milk or filling the bottles with sugary drinks such as sugar water, fruit juice and soft drinks. If possible, encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
PLEDGE TO HELP YOUR FAMILY MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES
Too many sugary foods and drinks are bad for everyone – they are the number one cause of tooth decay. Try and limit your whole family’s intake of sugars*. Do not consume excessive amounts from snacks, processed food and soft drinks to help prevent tooth decay and other oral diseases. As adults, we should be having no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar daily, for children it’s 3. Do you think you and your family are exceeding this? If so…