If your kids are going back to school this month, you might be looking forward to the peace and quiet, but also worried about them staying safe and healthy when they’re out of your sight.
When it comes to their teeth, there are steps you can take to help protect them against tooth decay and dental injuries. Talk to your child’s dentist about sports mouthguards, fissure sealants and other preventive treatments today.
If your child plays rugby, hockey or other contact sports in school, or they enjoy out-of-school activities like skateboarding that can put their teeth at risk of injury, they should wear a sports mouthguard. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) and other health groups recommend a custom mouthguard provided by a dentist rather than a generic product bought in a store.
Custom-fitted mouthguards offer more protection and help to cushion the teeth and jaws against impacts as they’re moulded to be a precise fit for your child’s bite. They’re also generally more comfortable to wear and are less likely to restrict breathing.
Your child’s dentist can also help to protect their teeth against decay by applying fissure sealants to their back teeth. These are thin coatings that cover the surfaces of the molars (chewing teeth), filling in pits and grooves where food and bacteria could get trapped and making the teeth easier to clean.
This treatment is painless and only takes a few minutes in the dentist’s chair, with no need for drilling or injections. Although your child’s teeth will be better defended against decay with fissure sealants, it’s still important that they follow good oral hygiene – brushing and flossing properly and avoiding overly sugary food and drink to lower their risk of oral health problems.
Left to their own devices, many kids choose sweet snacks and drinks high in sugar and acids that can increase their risk of tooth decay. It’s not just chocolate and lollies parents need to be concerned about either, but also soft drinks, fruit juice and cordials, which are some of the worst offenders in the rise of tooth decay.
Sending the kids to school with a lunchbox is the best way to make sure they’re eating and drinking healthy. Aim to include a balanced meal of protein, dairy and grains with fresh fruit and vegetables to help your kids get the vitamins and minerals they need. The best drinks for teeth are fluoridated tap water and milk, which can help to protect teeth against plaque and strengthen the enamel.
Regular dental visits
If your child does develop a problem such as tooth decay or gum disease, their dentist is more likely to catch it early if they’re able to check your child’s mouth on a regular basis. Annual check-ups are recommended after their first birthday, or within 6 months of your child’s first tooth appearing.
If your child is due for their check-up and clean, or you want to talk to our Erskineville dentists about anything that’s on your mind, make an appointment at Sydney Park Dental today. Call us on (02) 8084 7170 to speak to our friendly team or contact us online.
 Australian Dental Association. “No Mouthguard, No Play,” says Australia’s dentists and sports medicine specialists [Online] 2015 [Accessed June 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Media-Releases/No-Mouthguard,-no-play,-says-Australia-s-dentist
 Better Health Channel. Dental sealants [Online] 2018 [Accessed June 2018] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dental-sealants
 Roy Morgan. Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016 [Online] 2017 [Accessed June 2018] Available from: http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7101-sweet-drinks-much-more-popular-with-kids-than-older-aussies-201701031624
 Dental Health Services Victoria. Food and drink for healthy teeth [Online] 2009 [Accessed June 2018] Available from: https://www.dhsv.org.au/dental-advice/teeth-tips-and-facts/food-and-drink
 Australian Dental Association (ADA). Kids [Online] 2016 [Accessed June 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Children-0-11/Kids