Title: Your Child: Healthy Teeth. Episode 14 of 15.
Title: Renee & Dez’s Whānau
[Shots of Renee and Dez’s home.]
Debbie (voice-over): It's really important for your child's first teeth to be looked after, for their own growth and development. They need them for eating, speaking and generally keeping well.
[Interview with Debbie.]
Title: Debbie Jennings, Dental Therapist
Debbie: My name is Debbie. I am a dental therapist with the school dental service in Wellington. I am here today in Dez and Renee's home, talking to them about how to look after Aidan's teeth.
[Interview with Renee and Dez.]
Renee: Hello, I'm Renee.
Dez: Hi, I'm Dez. We have a three-year-old son named Aidan.
[Shots of Aidan playing.]
Title: Aidan, 3 years old
Dez (voice-over): He's a very lively, very bubbly sort of little guy. He's just your typical three-year-old that runs around a lot, and really enjoys brushing his teeth now.
[Renee brushes Aidan’s teeth. Aidan resists.]
Debbie (voice-over): Baby will get their first tooth at around six months of age. It's important that we start brushing those teeth as soon as they come through. They will continue teething until around two-and-a-half to three years of age. They will then have twenty teeth.
Renee (voice-over): Aidan's first teeth started coming in at seven months, so as soon as they came in we started brushing his teeth. It was quite easy for a while, until he got to about a year-and-a-half. Then it was quite difficult for us to brush his teeth. He was quite resistant to a toothbrush. We tried so many different methods.
Debbie (voice-over): It can be quite challenging when they're little pre-schoolers. Just remember their mouth is really sensitive, and it's got to be done gently.
Renee (voice-over): Now at three years old, we're in a routine where we brush his teeth in the morning after breakfast and at night before he goes to bed.
Debbie (voice-over): It's really important for an adult to brush their child's teeth until around eight years of age. We need to be doing it for two minutes after breakfast, and especially at bedtime, and that's to get rid of all the food and the drink we've had during the day, so it's not sitting on our teeth when we sleep. Otherwise the saliva, which you don't get at night time, can't wash all those foods off your teeth, and that's when the food will eat into your teeth, and you’ll end up with holes.
[Renee prepares fruit.]
Debbie (voice-over): As kids are snackers, it's important we protect and look after their teeth in between meals. We need to be feeding them fresh fruit and vegetables, and healthy alternatives like dairy products or plain crackers.
[Aidan eats an orange.]
Dez (voice-over): We give him healthy snacks as opposed to sugary treats, because that will help in the long term with his teeth, and also his health.
[Renee leads Aidan to the bathroom and helps him brush his teeth.]
Renee (voice-over): On a typical day, after he's had his breakfast, I will take him into the bathroom. We keep his toothbrush in a special bag, so I take it out, and put the toothpaste on it for him, and give him the toothbrush, and let him play around with it for a little while. And then when he's done brushing his teeth, I play a special song, which times out two minutes, and then I do a thorough clean of his teeth, brushing his teeth and his tongue. And then when the two minutes is over, the song will stop. Then he's finished brushing his teeth for the morning. That’s him done.
[Interview with Debbie.]
Debbie: Just remember, their tooth is like a little box, and we need to make sure we get all those surfaces. The top of the teeth, around the sides, the tongue, and also the gums. It's also important that we use a full-strength toothpaste, but just a little smear, as soon as their teeth start to come through. We don't lose our last baby tooth until about eleven or twelve years of age, so it's important to keep them healthy so they can guide the position of the big teeth coming through. I'd really like to encourage you parents to look after your children's teeth and help them end up with a lifetime of happy, healthy teeth.