Plunket urges parents to enrol babies with their local dental clinic

July is Oral Health month and Plunket is encouraging parents to make sure their babies are enrolled with their local dental clinic.

It’s important to start regular dental check-ups from when your child’s first teeth appear.

Community dental clinics are free and are often located within primary schools. You can also contact 0800 TALK TEETH/0800 825 583 to find your nearest clinic.

Ministry of Health data for 2013/14 showed around 3,000 children under five had teeth extracted because of decay.

“Many parents aren’t aware that their children are entitled to free basic dental care to the age of 18.  The earlier they start regularly seeing a dental therapist, the better for long term oral health.  Decay and infection in baby teeth can also cause damage to the permanent teeth developing beneath them,” said Plunket’s National Well Child and Parenting Advisor, Karen Magrath.

“The main reason for decay is sugary drinks. Water or milk should be the first choice and juice or fizzy drinks should be kept for an occasional treat.”

She said parents may not be aware that early childhood tooth decay and cavities, can also lead to tooth pain and infection which affects children’s eating, growth and sleep patterns.

 “An important way to prevent decay is by being a good role model and helping children to brush their teeth using adult-strength fluoride toothpaste in the morning and before going to bed at night.”

Please contact Karlum Lattimore 022 0121 089 to arrange an interview with Karen Magrath

0 Comments Posted by Mamae Munn on 11 July 2016

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