1. Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Use a pea sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste from 18 months to six years of age.
  • From six years of age, use a pea sized amount of standard fluoride toothpaste (unless otherwise advised by an oral health professional).
  • Encourage your child to spit out toothpaste after brushing, but not rinse.
2. Brush teeth and along the gum line twice a day
  • Brushing teeth removes plaque (the build-up on teeth) that causes tooth decay.
  • Brush all surfaces of the teeth and gums twice a day (after breakfast and before bed).
  • Brush in small circles along the gum line.
  • Choose a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles.
  • Always brush in a circular motion, cleaning a few teeth at a time.
  • Children will need an adult to help them brush their teeth until about 7 or 8 years of age. It is a good idea for an adult to supervise even after children can physically brush their own teeth.
3. Drink plenty of tap water
  • Water should be the main drink and children should drink plenty of tap water throughout the day.
  • Most of Shepparton’s tap water supply has fluoride in it. Fluoride protects teeth from decay.
  • Remember that bottled water from a shop may not have fluoride in it.
4. Children do not need fruit juice or other sweet drinks
  • Fruit juice and sweet drinks can cause tooth decay.
  • Fruit juice with ‘no added sugar’ contains natural sugar which can also cause tooth decay.
  • Sweet drinks include: soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, cordials, tea drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks.
  • Diet soft drinks contain acids which can also damage teeth.
5. Limit sugary foods
  • Limit foods high in added sugars. Eating foods with high levels of sugar causes tooth decay.
  • Try to avoid sugary foods and snacks in your child’s lunchbox.
  • Foods high in added sugars include jams, lollies, biscuits, cakes, sweet muffins, doughnuts, slices, sweet pastries, chocolate and muesli bars.
6. Healthy meals and snacks are important for healthy teeth
  • Enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods from the five groups every day.
  • Fruits and vegetables are an important part of healthy eating.
  • Milk, yoghurt, cheese (and their alternatives) are an excellent source of calcium.
  • Many common foods and snacks have sugar in them. Eating foods with high levels of sugar causes tooth decay.
7. Wear a mouth-guard during contact sports or activities where there is a risk of injury to the face
  • Custom fitted mouth guards provide the best protection.
  • Take the mouth guard to your dental visits to check it still fits well.
  • A mouth guard may need to be replaced as changes occur in the mouth, such as when the permanent teeth come through.