Parents, if you attended primary school in the ‘70s or ‘80s, you will probably remember those times when you had to squat by a school drain to brush your teeth after recess. And do you still remember those chewable red tablets that disclosed unclean areas by colouring teeth red?
Those were the days when oral hygiene was emphasised on a national level. Kickstarted in 1969 by the Ministry of Health, the Dental Health Programme introduced compulsory tooth-brushing among lower primary students across the country at that time.
Over the years, various campaigns targeting students have been organised to raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene. For example in 2006, a mass tooth-brushing drill for Primary 1 and 2 students was organised in 86% of primary schools to inculcate correct tooth-brushing techniques among the young. A kindergarten programme for oral health education was also organised in 517 pre-schools and reached over 57,000 pre-schoolers.
Despite all these educational efforts, latest available figures from the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) School Dental Service (SDS) reveal that tooth decay is on the rise among our local youth. Close to 50% of primary one pupils were reported to have decayed teeth in 2012. As reported by the Straits Times in May 2014, “the proportion of children with dental caries at the age of seven had gone up from 47.6 per cent in 2003, to 50.6 per cent in 2013.”
So why aren’t our children taking care of their teeth? Like many parents, perhaps you think that it is no big deal if your young kids do not brush their teeth everyday since milk teeth will give way to permanent ones when they grow up anyway.
However, dentists advise that a proper oral hygiene routine is vital from as early as infant age because a good set of milk teeth is important to properly chew food and for looking good. Also, decayed milk teeth can lead to poor growth of permanent teeth at a later age.
But my children refuse to brush their teeth and I find it a real chore to force them to do so daily, you say?
The Disney Magic Timer™ app by Oral-B is a great must-have to encourage young kids not just to brush their teeth but also to brush longer.
This fun app which can be downloaded FREE from the on any iOS or Android device from the Apple app store or Google Play, will transform your child’s teeth-brushing time into playtime.
To up the level of fun, why not also get an electric toothbrush for your child. Suitable for ages 5 and up, kids will love the fun of Oral-B Pro-Health Stages Power Toothbrush, and you’ll love the clean. It’s an advanced children’s brush with the benefits of battery power.
Rotating PowerHead™: Action that reaches, surrounds, and cleans multiple surfaces for a thorough clean
Raised center-row bristles: Positioned to clean chewing surfaces
Interdental tips: Longer to get between teeth
Extra-soft bristles: Soft bristles for a gentle cleaning
Makes brushing fun with Disney characters
If you still prefer a manual toothbrush, the Oral-B Stages® range offers toothbrushes specially designed for children from 4 months until 8+ years old.