For parents, it’s an alarming fact to learn that four out of 10 children aged 5-10 have decay in their baby teeth and more than three out of 10 children aged 9-14 have decay in their permanent teeth. But these are the statistics released by the Australian Dental Association and particularly important ahead of next week’s Dental Health Week.
Four out of 10 children overall also had moderate or abundant plaque visible on their teeth and some kids have even lost teeth as a result.
Local dentist Dr Antonia Lalousis agreed that this prevalence of decay is definitely present, but prevention is the key.
“That’s something that we are very passionate about,” she said.
Dr Antonia runs Dubbo Family Dentists with her husband Dr Amjad Aghdaei and they’ve put a huge focus on making the surgery family-oriented and child-friendly.
“We have seen a slow but consistent change for the better in local families that attend regularly,” she said.
“Breaking down the stigma, or even the fear, for children going to the dentists also plays a big role in what they’re trying to do - preventative as opposed to reactive oral health care will always ensure happier, healthier kids.”
Establishing good oral health habits for children, leading by example, maintaining good nutrition and limiting sugar, as well as making brushing something fun as a family are all things parents can do at home to encourage good oral hygiene.
“Getting kids to have their first visits to a dentist at an early age with regular check-ups, is always a way to make a child’s dental experiences fun and exciting.”
Dr Antonia and the team absolutely love having children as patients, and the focus really is on them having the best experience possible.
The ADA has also called for reforms to the Health Star Rating after a review by the George Institute revealed that hidden sugars in a number of products are exposing consumers to the added risk of tooth decay.
- Dental Health Week runs August 7 to 13, 2017