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Good oral hygiene begins in the cot

Saturday, 29th October, 2011

NOTHING TO FEAR: Karen Kennedy and daughter Lily visit Brooke McCall at the Morgan Street Child Dental Service yesterday. NOTHING TO FEAR: Karen Kennedy and daughter Lily visit Brooke McCall at the Morgan Street Child Dental Service yesterday.

Oral hygiene among local children has been described as “not too good’ by the new dental therapist at the Morgan Street Child Dental Service.

“It hasn’t always been the best,” dental therapist Brooke McCall told the BDT. “There’s always room for improvement.”

Ms McCall, who recently moved back to the city with her husband and three children, is spreading the oral health message to schools in her new role.

“The focus is prevention and we will be promoting, for example, the importance of early tooth brushing habits and tips on reducing sweet foods between meals,” she said.

Ms McCall said that parents who wanted their children to have healthy teeth should get them to drink more water and not put them to bed with a bottle of milk.

She also encouraged parents against letting their child walk around with a bottle or nurse it in their cot.

“Decay can be caused when babies use a bottle in this way. Parents should nurse their baby whenever a bottle is used.”

The school visits, set to start next year, will introduce Ms McCall to schoolchildren before they use the service as a way of reducing their apprehension about they going to the dentist.

Ms McCall gained her Diploma of Dental Therapy at Westmead College of Dental Therapy and has worked in a variety of health services over the past eight years including in New Zealand and Sydney.

Her father, Dr Michael Kowalski, was the principal dental officer at the Town Dental Clinic.

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