Back to School Dental Checklist
Preparing for going back to school after the summer break is almost a military exercise and making sure your children's teeth are in good condition should be part of the process. This is the time for a thorough examination by the child's dentist and for addressing any dental issues that may have arisen during the holidays.

Healthy teeth and gums are essential as dental problems can lead to difficulties in:
- Eating
- Speaking
- Learning

Furthermore, failure to treat dental problems before school resumes can lead to "hours of missed school" which can impact negatively on a child's educational performance. 

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Tips to Keep Healthy Teeth and Gums
According to research, there is a link between oral health and your overall health. By maintaining a good oral care routine, including regular dentist appointments, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Key takeaways:
- Brush teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush, using circular brushing movements to clean all the tooth.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from areas between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach.
- Fluoride is often within toothpaste and mouthwash, and a lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay.

"The results of a recent study confirmed that children and adolescents should see a dentist every 6 months to help prevent cavities."

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Effects of Pacifiers on Toddlers’ Oral Health
When used correctly, a soother (dummy) can be beneficial and there is some evidence that using a soother during sleep or nap time reduces the risk of SIDS ( sudden infant death syndrome ). 
However, reaching for a soother every time a child cries is not advised as this can lead to dental problems including:

- Misaligned teeth
- Incorrect development of the roof mouth
- Incorrect jaw development

Many experts recommend that dummies should not be used after the child reaches two years of age and some suggest "stopping or limiting the use of a pacifier (soother)" after six months. The child's dentist can offer advice on the correct use of dummies and you can find out more at 


Are Composite Fillings A Good Option For Me?
Composite fillings have become the standard in modern dentistry, but they are not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Key takeaways:

- If you have a cavity in a very visible area, composite fillings will help you achieve natural results and improve your smile instantly.
- Composite fillings are matched to the colour of your natural teeth, so they are unnoticeable.
- You may benefit from them if you have cavities along the gum line.
- This type of filling may not be a good option if you have large or deep cavities.

In some cases, you may be better off with an amalgam filling, or other dental treatments. Your dentist will discuss the options with you.

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