It’s Australian Dental Association’s Dental Health Week here in Australia (August 5-11) so it’s timely that we should have Dr Amy Daley of East Brisbane Dentists back with some tips on teeth brushing. The Australian Dental Association website has some great resources for parents and teachers, the posters here are particularly good.
Cleaning your teeth before bed is as important as reading your books before bed in this house. We have a super sized poster in the bathroom from Aunty Amy, also our dentist, andPudStar loves referring to it as she’s brushing her teeth and bossing us about how to brush our teeth. Next to this poster we also have PudStar’s ‘Princess with Cavities’ picture she created last year. Thanks to Aunty Amy PudStar is rather into all things teeth but when she drew a princess then added cavities to her teeth…well we have got more than a few chuckles out of this picture.
Thank you Dr Amy Daley for sharing some information about teeth cleaning so that you don’t end up with a prince or princess with cavities…
Tooth brushing time can be one of the most challenging parts of the daily routine. It’s tempting sometimes to just give up. But sadly, over half of Australian children now have tooth decay and as well as eating a tooth friendly diet, your twice daily brushing routine is the best thing that you can do to help prevent tooth decay. In general, baby teeth are present from around six months to very early teens, and these baby teeth are just as at risk of decay as adult teeth. Sadly this decay can seriously affect the development of the child’s adult teeth. By establishing a regular, healthy brushing routine early you can set the stage for a healthy mouth for life.
Dr Amy Daley’s Top 5 Tips for Teeth Cleaning for Children:
- Begin the brushing routine at home as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. There are age specific toothbrushes and toothpastes available for any age, or if unsure, ask your dentist.
- You can brush the child’s teeth, or if they are confident and want to try, let them brush. I do always recommend however that an adult should continue to brush the child’s teeth once a day until about age 7.
- Try to make brushing as fun as possible. Motorised toothbrushes, a favourite song (this works wonders!), pulling lion or tiger faces, all these things can help make brushing time more interesting. Also try to set a timer (or music) to go for two minutes brushing time. It feels like forever!
- Your child will learn from what you do. It’s great to brush at the same time as them so that they can mimic you. Or have them brush the teeth of their toys or dolls, read some of the great books on tooth brushing, or even let them try brushing yours.
- Most importantly parents - don’t be discouraged and don’t give up. Winning the sometimes nightly tooth cleaning battle has long term ramifications which will set your child up in a healthy routine, and healthy teeth, for life.
Children’s Books about Teeth Cleaning
These books are perfect for encouraging small children to brush their teeth! They can be purchased by clicking on the title.
This is the third in a a fabulous little series which started with ‘Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair’. In this one Ginger McFlea will do anything to not clean her teeth….even at the risk of looking something like PudStars ‘Princess with Cavities’. I’ve regularly pulled out one of the beautifully rhyming lines from this book as I stand in the bathroom coaxing Pud to clean her teeth…it is one of those book which stick in your head and on a topic such as this that’s a bonus!
Great non fiction title which takes children through the ‘whys’ of tooth brushing
We have all in this series…but this is ChickPea’s favourite and is a great one for learning all about the teeth that animals have. It’s perfect for one years + as an introduction to teeth!
The non fiction series below is great. Each one builds upon the last to give a complete look at oral hygiene.
For more on preparing your child for a trip to the dentist see Dr Amy Daley’s tips here.