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Healthy smiles start from a young age

Goodstart centres

Tooth decay is Australia’s most common health problem and can cause pain and infection that can lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

The good news is tooth decay is preventable, by having good eating habits, cleaning your child’s teeth regularly and getting them regular dental check-ups.

The children at Goodstart Merriwa in Western Australia recently visited their local dentist to learn about the importance of good oral health and healthy eating.

Goodstart centre director Natasha Browne said the pre-kinder and kindergarten children were excited about the excursion.

"The excursion was leveraged on the back of our hospital familiarisation program which involves the nurses from Princess Margaret Hospital coming to visit the children to read stories and help reduce any anxiety about visiting the hospital," Ms Browne said. 

“We went on a walking trip to our local dentist to check things out. The children were taken on a tour of the surgery, looked at some x-rays of teeth and mouths, were shown cleaning instruments and learnt how to brush and floss their teeth.

This experience has helped teach the children the importance of taking care of their teeth, and show that dentists are here to help.”

Ms Browne said the centre regularly taught the children the links between healthy eating and drinking, and good oral health.

“Establishing sound oral health and healthy eating habits from an early age leads to good oral health in adulthoodWe regularly discuss healthy eating and drinking lots of fresh water with the children at the centre.”


The Australian Dental Association shares some simple tips on what parents can do to ensure good oral health for your child:

  • Brush teeth and along the gum line twice a day.
  • Choose a low-fluoride toothpaste for children aged 18 months to six years old. 
  • Don't wait for a problem. Get your child’s teeth checked out by a health professional before they turn two years old.


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