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1 Sep 2017

We think our kids deserve better

We saw some bad news about Irish children recently. A nation-wide study found that primary school kids as old as 12 can’t run, jump, throw, catch or hit any type of sports ball properly — they haven’t developed the requisite motor skills because they’re too inactive.

The research by Dublin City University and the GAA came after news that thousands of children are having to wait until they are 12 to see a dentist because of staff shortages in the public dental service.

Decay in children’s teeth is a real problem. A combination of sugary food and drinks, poor oral hygiene, and a lack of visits to the dentist mean that about half of Irish kids have decay by the age of five.

It’s so bad that about 10,000 children have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic every year according to the Irish Dental Association (IDA).

While it must surely take years to remedy the pernicious effects of inactivity in a child, if indeed it’s possible, the problem of decay in young teeth is relatively straightforward to fix. The thing to do is take your child to the dentist nice and early, and then keep up regular visits.

Many Irish children see the dentist for the first time at the age of seven or eight as part of the school screening programme. But it’s not guaranteed, and meanwhile the only way to make sure your child gets the dental care they need is with a private dental practice.

In fact, you might want to act sooner than age seven. The European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommend that children have their first dental visit by their first birthday.

Bringing your child to a private dental practice like Pembroke Dental is a great idea for several reasons:

  • We have Ireland's first dedicated children's dental centre called the Cool Clean Club. It’s run by Rachel Murphy, a dental nurse and oral health educator. If your child is aged between five and 12, an appointment at the Cool Clean Club will set them on the road to good dental health
  • We can help tackle enamel fluorosis, a common condition where over exposure to fluoride in children below eight causes lifelong tooth staining. Parental advice on when to use toothpaste, what kind, and how much is the solution
  • We give advice on brushing technique - parents should help children brush until they are around six years old, but the correct technique differs depending on their age
  • Enabling your child to get used to seeing a dentist from an early age means less chance of future dental anxiety, which can harm their long term dental health

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