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September 2021

Mum helping her young daughter brush her teeth jpeg
Mum helps Maddie brush her teeth.

Video series combats child tooth decay

Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) has launched an oral health resource to help families combat tooth decay in young children.

The Toothbrushing with young children video series shows families how to support their children to brush well at key developmental stages and features real families sharing tips and challenges.

DHSV Chief Executive Officer Sue McKee highlighted the importance of establishing healthy habits.

‘Children’s first teeth are at greater risk of tooth decay and need daily care from the beginning to help prevent the problems associated with tooth decay.

‘We know it can be challenging but helping kids to brush their teeth twice a day can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.

‘Through these short videos, we hope to make it easier for parents to keep their kids’ teeth healthy and decay-free,’ Ms McKee said.

More than one third of Australian children will experience tooth decay by the time they start school.

A 2018 Royal Children’s Hospital national child oral health poll revealed many families were confused about when – and how often – to brush children’s teeth.

While current guidelines recommend adults actively help children under eight to brush their teeth twice a day, the poll revealed more than half – 58 per cent – of infants and toddlers did not have their teeth brushed twice daily.

The survey also highlighted the need for clear toothbrushing guidance with more than one third of parents believing babies do not need their teeth cleaned every day and only 28 per cent of parents reporting being shown how to care for their child’s teeth by a health professional.

The Toothbrushing with young children video series supports families by providing practical tips, advice from parents and helpful guides for managing the transition from toothbrushing with baby – to 18 months – to toothbrushing with toddlers or pre-schoolers – 18 months to six years.

DHSV received funding support of the Department of Health to develop the resource.

• To watch Toothbrushing with young children visit https://bit.ly/2Xc1WN3.