Dental Crisis Affecting South Australian Children

It is quite scary the figures of dental decay in children.  In 2015-16, 630 children aged 03 years were admitted to hospital in SA for dental treatment under a general anaesthetic. That is way too many!  Latest figures do not rate us any higher.  This past year 27.1% of children aged 5-10 years old have untreated decay in their mouth.  This is staggering given the outstanding dental care in our community, the fluoride in our water supply and the availability of quality dental products.

Children’s teeth are important in that they keep the space for the erupting permanent teeth, allow for good nutrition, and provide an engaging smile.  They can be really painful if decay takes hold. The last of a child’s teeth falls out around age 13 or 14.  Those baby teeth really work hard over many years and are essential for a healthy, happy, growing child.

Some parents looking for healthy ideas try no fluoride toothpaste.  This may seem the natural alternative and safer for children.  These pastes however, often fall into the cosmetic category of product and aren’t tested as thoroughly and aren’t as safe as the fluoride toothpaste.  Please ask us for clarification if you are thinking of using an “alternative” toothpaste.

Diet is a major factor in all this decay.  We may give children small boxes of sultanas, muesli bars, juices or flavoured yoghurts.  Take a moment just for interest sake and have a look at the amount of sugars there are.  They are extremely high in sugar.  These sticky, chewy products also stick in the grooves of the teeth and hang around for a long while.

Try instead of dried fruit, a handful of grapes instead of a whole box worth of sultanas which has a much more concentrated sugar load.  Try one apple which is more filling, and fibrous than more than one glass of apple juice with the increased sugar load.

 Plain Greek yoghurt with some fresh fruit contains less sugar than the flavoured ‘natural’ fruit yoghurts.  A handful of nuts and grains will give you less sugar and longer lasting energy than a muesli bar.  Maybe reducing snacks and offering larger meal portions at earlier timeframes will help your child too.  Children are often ready to eat a meal at 11am or 5pm, rather than a snack.

As we chat to you over your hygiene appointment or dental treatment we catch up on all the activities of the children or grandchildren and you catch up with ours – although there are no grandchildren of the staff just yet! 😊  Something you might not have caught up on is theChild Dental Benefits Scheme”. 

 This scheme works via Medicare and provides $1000.00 of dental care both preventative and treatment for eligible children.  Medicare will have sent you a letter to say you are eligible, however it is easy to call them and they will let you know.

 Regular checks of children’s teeth will prevent future problems.  We at Adelaide City Dental Care believe your children are as important as our children.  We have reduced fees for children’s dental care and are available to answer any questions you may have about caring for your child’s teeth.  Please check our Facebook site for helpful hints and tips, email or phone us.  We are here to help.

 Together, let’s stop the rot.

See you in the clinic.  The Adelaide City Dental Care Team.

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