Why instilling good dental habits in your children is one of the most valuable gifts you can give.
They may not wear capes, battle baddies by the cover of night or know how to fly, but as far as childhood heroes are concerned, your local dentist ought to be up there with the best. They fight cavities, obliterate plaque, help prevent decay and polish little teeth with impressive efficiency. Read on for five reasons why your dentist is the toothbrush-wielding hero your little one needs in their life.
Baby teeth are precious Yes, cleaning the teeth of a toddler can be about as easy as trying to brush a wild possum but unlike possum-brushing, keeping your children’s teeth healthy is a necessary (if not frustrating) pursuit. You might be wondering, why all the fuss about baby teeth if they’re just going to fall out anyway? The truth is that while essential for a child’s normal health and development, strong baby teeth also provide a solid foundation for a life of good dental hygiene. Losing the mini-chompers too early (especially as a result of decay) can have an adverse effect on everything from how their adult teeth grow, to eating habits and self-esteem.
A life free of fillings is possible Dental health has come such a long way in the past decade (or five) that your children may well get through life with all of their own teeth intact and zero fillings (just think of the savings)! You may consider yourself an expert in teeth brushing – a daily flossing, rinsing, teeth-sparkling wizard. But just as regular check-ups with your GP keep your health in order, seeing your dentist is the best way to safeguard the health of your teeth and ensure that any potential future issues can be prevented, whether it’s pipping plaque at the post or refining a brushing technique that will protect precious enamel (think, gentle circles at the gum line, not manic scrubbing, boot polish style).
Children get dental perks Sure, you only get one set of teeth and looking after them is worth every cent – but seeing the dentist can be expensive. The good news is that thanks to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), a dental appointment may cost exactly… Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. The means-tested initiative provides eligible children with up to $1000 to spend over two years on dental services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings and extractions. Which means all the more reason to acquaint your tiny humans with the dentist’s chair. Another bargaining chip to offer your offspring? Seeing the dentist is fun! The chair goes up and down like a shopping centre ride.
Prevention is better than cure This is the stuff a parent’s nightmares are made of: between July 2016 and July 2017, 24 South Australian babies under 12 months old were admitted to hospital for extractions and tooth fillings. In the same period, 2500 children under the age of eight required dental treatment under general anaesthetic – a 55 per cent increase over the last decade. In NSW alone, a staggering 40 per cent of children aged 5-6 years have evidence of dental decay (which is largely preventable). Early childhood teeth decay causes pain, health risks, psychological trauma and significant cost, but empowering your child with the education to care for their teeth (under your supervision) is the smartest way to keep their ivories in the best possible condition for life.
Bright smiles are the best As a parent, you’d do anything to make your child happy, and there’s nothing like the confidence a mouthful of sparkling, clean teeth can provide. Self-esteem begins in childhood and studies have shown that having beautiful teeth can inspire a whole host of emotionally positive knock-on effects. Teaching your children the numerous benefits of dental health – with the support of your dentist – is the first step towards achieving a mouthful of pearly whites they’ll be proud to smile with for the rest of their lives. Priceless.