Top 10 oral health tips for primary school children (5–12 years)

  • Use a pea sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste from 18 months to six years of age.
  • From six years of age, use a pea sized amount of standard fluoride toothpaste (unless otherwise advised by an oral health professional).
  • Encourage your child to spit out toothpaste after brushing, but not rinse.
  • Fruit juice and sweet drinks can cause tooth decay.
  • Fruit juice with ‘no added sugar’ contains natural sugar which can also cause tooth decay.
  • Sweet drinks include: soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, cordials, tea drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks.
  • Diet soft drinks contain acids which can also damage teeth.
  • Water should be the main drink and children should drink plenty of tap water throughout the day.
  • Fluoride protects teeth from decay.
  • Remember that bottled water from a shop may not have fluoride in it.
  • Fruit juice and sweet drinks can cause tooth decay.
  • Fruit juice with ‘no added sugar’ contains natural sugar which can also cause tooth decay.
  • Sweet drinks include: soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, cordials, tea drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks.
  • Diet soft drinks contain acids which can also damage teeth.
  • Limit foods high in added sugars. Eating foods with high levels of sugar causes tooth decay.
  • Try to avoid sugary foods and snacks in your child’s lunchbox.
  • Foods high in added sugars include jams, lollies, biscuits, cakes, sweet muffins, doughnuts, slices, sweet pastries, chocolate and muesli bars.
  • Enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods from the five groups every day.
  • Fruits and vegetables are an important part of healthy eating.
  • Milk, yogurt, cheese (and their alternatives) are an excellent source of calcium.
  • Many common foods and snacks have sugar in them. Eating foods with high levels of sugar causes tooth decay.
  • Having regular check-ups can help to spot problems early. Early stages of tooth decay can be treated.
  • Find out more about free or low-cost public dental services available for school aged children.
  • It is important that school children get to know their oral health professional.
  • Your oral health professional will discuss your child’s needs and plan how often your child should have their teeth checked.
  • Your child might not always see a dentist – many other ‘oral health professionals’ such as oral health therapists are fully qualified to work on your child’s teeth.
  • If your child knocks out a baby tooth, do not try and put it back in place. Contact your oral health professional immediately.
  • Trying to replace a baby tooth can damage the adult tooth underneath the gum, or cause problems when it is time for the baby tooth to fall out.
  • If a permanent  (adult) tooth is knocked out:
    • hold it by the crown (smooth white part) and avoid touching the pointy root.
    • Gently rinse the tooth with milk or saline without touching the root. Do not scrub the tooth.
    • If the person is conscious, you should gently put the tooth back into the socket.
    • Hold the tooth in place by getting the person to gently bite on a handkerchief.
    • Contact your oral health professional immediately.
  • Custom fitted mouth guards provide the best protection.
  • Take the mouth guard to your dental visits to check it still fits well.
  • A mouth guard may need to be replaced as changes occur in the mouth, such as when the permanent teeth come through.

source: “Top 10 oral health tips for primary school children (5–12 years).”  dhsv.org.au. Dental Health Services Victoria, Web. Oct. 2nd, 2017.

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