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In your role as an early childhood educator or early primary teacher, you can work with parents in their child’s first months and years to help them to establish simple diet and oral hygiene routines with immediate and long-term benefits. Even before baby teeth come through, there’s plenty that you can do.
Tooth decay is one of the most common oral health problems and affects almost half of Australian children. Many foods and drinks contain bacteria that, if left exposed to teeth, cause a sticky film known as plaque. Decay happens when plaque builds up on teeth and its acids break down the tooth surface.
Supporting oral health—early childhood educators
Supporting oral health—early primary teachers
Looking after teeth and gums—parents
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By working with parents to teach their children good diet and oral hygiene routines, this common problem can almost always be prevented.This really is something to smile about—preventing tooth decay and gum disease can help children to:
Treating tooth decay and gum disease can not only be uncomfortable and unpleasant for children, it can be expensive for their families. In some more remote parts of Australia, it can also be very difficult to even get access to an oral health professional.
When oral health goes amiss and tooth decay develops, lots of problems can arise and become more serious the longer tooth decay is left untreated.Tooth decay has a range of serious potential complications, including:
Healthy teeth and gums are essential for children’s immediate and long-term health and wellbeing, and can almost always prevent the common problem of tooth decay and its many related complications. Even though children might brush and floss their teeth at home each day, you can still do so much to help, by sharing information about oral health with families. By raising parents’ and children’s awareness of why oral health is important and the importance of simple diet and oral hygiene routines, you can make a big difference to children’s lifelong health and wellbeing.