Home dental routines key to sparkling smile

Learning the basics of dental care at a young age is key to having a sparkling set of teeth.

Bendigo Health visited Good Start Early Learning Centre to spread the word about good teeth-based habits during Dental Health Week.

Oral health therapist Sophie McKenna was giving check-ups and advice to students and said good oral hygiene was important.

“It is important to prevent dental disease early, not only so kids have beautiful, healthy teeth but to avoid the need for costly and uncomfortable dental treatment,” she said.

Dental Health Week’s theme this year is “Oral Health for Busy Lives.”

“Something that main focus for Dental Health Week this year is getting into a routine of going to the dentist,” Ms McKenna said.

“Only 65 per cent of adults reported the had been to the dentist in the last two years. It's a big factor and we definitely want everyone having a check up once a year.”

Ms McKenna said affordability was often factor in families not going to the dentist regularly.

She said there were a number of benefits schemes that could help families.

“For children aged from 0 to 12, our public clinic (at Bendigo Health) is completely free,” Ms McKenna said.

“Kids aged from 13 to 18 are eligible if the parent as healthcare card. They can still be seen after 18 but need a card and be on the general wait list.”

Ms McKenna said more people should be aware of the Commonwealth Child Dental Benefits Scheme.

“It is used at public and private dentists and grants $1000 per child for general dental treatment,” she said.

“That makes a huge difference to those who may not be able to afford expenses that come with dentist visits.

“It has been running for a number of years and we want people to know about it and use it.”

Ms McKenna said full mouth and dental treatment can cost thousands of dollars making the benefits scheme valuable to a lot of families.

She said families and children that had good dental routines would prevent bad oral hygiene.

“We keep it on a basic level for the pre-school kids,” Ms McKenna said.

“Things like brushing in morning when sun comes out and bushing in the evening when the moon's there re-enforces that brushing is an important part of their daily routine.

“Younger kids also focus on diet which is a large factor in oral hygeine. You should try to limit sweet foods and drinks in the diet.”

Log on to www.ada.org.au/dental-health-week/home for more information on Dental Health Week.