Children’s Dentistry: Dental Care Must Continue Despite The Pandemic

Children’s Dentistry: Dental Care Must Continue Despite The Pandemic


Most kids don’t like a trip to the dentist. Most adults don’t like a trip to the dentist. And the global pandemic that the world has been learning to navigate since the final months of 2019, is making children’s oral health and dental care more curly than a Dr Seuss character’s tail.

The gold standard of paediatric dentistry always, is the prevention of poor oral health in children. Even moreso in these now pandemic times, of what was declared firstly, a Public Health Emergency in January 2020. Oral health has been a victim of Covid-19.

Adequate management of oral health in children is crucially important during an epidemic and its periods of lock-down. That’s all further complicated by having to personally learn what represents an  emergency, given that even a mouth ulcer is painful but will disappear in a day or two. For many of us a trip saved to the dentist is an expense rather avoided. Turn the heat up on all that by the parent or guardian responsibility to start knowing the difference in oral tenderness or discomfort in a growing, ergo changing, mouth. A first child.

A toddler. A kid not old enough to be able to articulate what hurts in their mouth.

And then try telling that parent or guardian holding a screaming and distressed child that there is the sanctioned implementation of specific protocols for what does not, and what does fall within the category of a child dental emergency.

Those last three words are chilling in themselves. Even were there two paediatric dentists in a 24-hour fully equipped surgery for every child on earth never further than ten metres from where any child is playing, sleeping, or just being, they are not three words that should ever be together. Whichever order in which you might want to put them. We’ll make sure our kids can get Macca’s so easily.

It’s a pity we’re not becoming much more innovative in our thinking of the things that children need.

Optimum oral health is most certainly one of those things. With good gut health proven to drive this biological machine, strong straight teeth and a healthy mouth are the very beginning of that process and maintenance of ongoing, better health. Research has shown that it is the healthy food eaten as a child that sets an adult up for life.  Had we been undernourished or nutritionally depleted over our growth years, from our early 20s we can then eat only the cleanest, slowest, most seasonal, plant-based diet  –  and without taking away the validity of that as a valid life choice  –  the set-for-life general health switch has been already set.

A published new study by the University of Melbourne highlights the impact on already vulnerable children in Australia, already experiencing higher levels of serious dental issues, the pandemic has on providing this much-needed dental care. Its research revealed 881,454 fewer services were provided in 2019 than 2020.

Restrictions imposed on dentists effectively shut practices down from late March through to April, and again from July to September. During these periods part of those constraints was to provide emergency dental care only.

It’s challenging enough adhering to the necessarily rigorous infection control protocols for every dental environment directly affected by COVID‐19 outbreaks; and it’s more than essential to take the expertise of paediatric dentists to communities that now, whether by distance or instance, are remote.

Dentists now post more information and detail regarding the dynamics of children’s oral health. Tooth brushing tips and easily accessed information focusses on the very things you can do to maintain the dental health of your kids during the pandemic.

So there are challenges. And they can seem rather overwhelming. There is always our part to do, which in this case is everything that’s not happening in the dentist’s chair. The quality and types of food. Regular and age-appropriate overseeing of a child’s toothbrush techniques. Not making a chore that they happily avoid.

There are many children’s dentists with a reputation for friendly gentle approach. You want your kid to not be phased by a trip to the dentist. I think most adults would welcome a free trip to the dentist just for the ‘free’ part.




Immigrant Children Adapting to Life in Australia

The truth is that we are defined by our environment. Human beings are herd animals and we are shaped by the communities in which we live. This is why adult migrants, often, struggle to fit into their new surroundings, whilst their children assimilate and integrate into their new homelands with ease. Young people want to fit in and do not carry the identity baggage from their past. Immigrant children adapting to life in Australia can be seen in sporting teams and at schools everywhere. Life is about learning the customs and behaviours of your community and country. For kids this is a piece of cake, even for kids who do not usually eat cake at home.

The Parents Miss the Old World Much More

In fact, much of the friction in migrant families is due to the parents establishing islands or ghettoes of Little Italy, Chinatown, or wherever they are from. These frozen slices of life from the homeland become barriers for the children of immigrants fitting in. Old customs become weights hanging around the necks of these migrant kids. The parents miss their old worlds much more than their children who are moving on, into the here and now. Of course, South African kids can access confectionary from back home via expat stores, but I bet it is the big kids (Mum and Dad) who miss the old flavours most.

Let the Young Ones Embrace the New

It can be a tough balancing act for migrants, not to get in the way of their children’s success in making a new life and not completely forgetting their roots. Immigrant children adapting to life in Australia do it with good grace, especially if their parents can give them the space to be whole in their new identity and not split. Life is governed by cycles and we naturally turn to the pages of our family’s past when we get a good bit older. Let the young ones embrace the new whilst they are young.

Biltong is now searched 6000 times per month in Australia on Google and this tells us a few things. South African expats in Australia have established some flourishing food businesses. Perhaps, they are, also, passing on the biltong banner to their progeny in terms of tastes and trends. Their homes may, indeed, be nests of diverse interests and creativity in their new homeland. Whether it be China, Korea, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, India or somewhere else, the multicultural mix is a great thing in Australia and long may it live.

Electrical Risks For Children

One cannot dispute the fact that we live in the electromagnetic age. James Clerk Maxwell did not invent the stuff but he defined it via his equations. Physicists have set out their laws of thermodynamics and found the forces at work in our universe. Electricity powers much of our world in the 21C, especially if you live on the wealthier side of the planet. Children who can afford to possess electronic devices, like phones and computers, are spellbound by the dancing dots on their screens. Are there electrical risks for children? Well, that is a multilevel question with more than one answer.


Electricity is Safely Wrapped in Wires & Conduit


Electricity, when it is safely wrapped in wires and conduit, poses little risk for children who have no access to what lies beneath. Even something like a ceiling fan is usually above the reach of a child and its workings operate inside a casing. Children must be taught not to pry and leave well enough alone, when it comes to electrical engines and machines. Of course, with proper adult supervision a curious child may be introduced to the inner workings of electrical devices for educational purposes. Indeed, we positively encourage an interest in the STEM subjects today.


Exposure to Long-Term Low-Level Radiation


Electrical risks for children may exist beyond the direct shock of contact with current. Research continues into the effects of long-term exposure to low level electromagnetic radiation. Science has, however, found no case to answer so far. Parents worry about the effects of all that staring into screens by their children from phones to computers to TV. Will this have adverse consequences on the development and wellbeing of our children? Studies continue but nothing concrete has emerged as yet. We seem to prefer to gaze into a small screen than to look deeply into each other’s eyes and faces.


Perhaps, we are all evolving toward autism and will eventually relinquish our Theory of Mind? Human beings and our big brains are heading up a path never before taken. Our children will continue to live very different different lives to their ancestors. Electricity is a huge part of that divergence from what has gone before. We are all enamoured by the high-tech devices that we as a civilisation can create. The COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic has only strengthened our shift toward digital devices powered by electricity. Risks there may be but we are prepared to take them in the 21C.

Children Are the Hidden Victims of COVID-19

In Queensland the police are about to reach 100, 000 public interactions related to domestic violence incidents this financial year. Many of these involve couples with children and have included several high-profile grizzly murders. Children are the hidden victims of COVID-19 coronavirus, despite the fact that this disease does not target their demographic. We, as a community, have tended to focus on the direct casualties of this pandemic and have, so far, glossed over the many indirect victims. Children are dependent upon the good will of their parents and carers, when it comes to their wellbeing and safety.

Parents Lashing Out at Kids Whilst Under Pressure

If the economic catastrophe is stressing out adults across Australia and around the world, then, the knock-on effect hits kids hard. An emergency visit to the dentist may be more than just a case of good oral hygiene. Parents lashing out at kids whilst under pressure are ensuring that children are the hidden victims of COVID-19. It is a moot point whether government’s spend on public relations campaigns visible on TV screens aimed at domestic violence in the home during the pandemic will do anything to alleviate the problem. It seems that the modern antidote to societal problems is to be seen to be doing something rather than actually doing something.

Education Does Not Stop When People Leave School

It is a good thing that we are, at least, talking about these black holes within families and households. The family unit is often pitched as the good within our moral compasses but there are, also, plenty of less than desirable family situations in Australia. Education does not stop when people leave school. Real learning never stops and all of us need to be made aware of this. Adults with kids are on the steepest learning curve of all in my experience. We need more open discussion about what being a parent really means and more acknowledgement for ongoing training in this sector.

The Australian governments higher education policy move to make humanities degrees double the cost of science degrees will not help make Australia a more tolerant and pluralistic society. What needs to happen is to make human right’s units mandatory secondary schooling requirements in this country. It is not enough to get a job and make money, we need Australian citizens to be so much more than this. Especially for the sake of our children and for the sake of their mothers.

Music Education Can Be High Energy

Have you ever taught a music class? It is typically one of the difficult classes to keep students engaged. Indeed, if you do not have the right skills to pass the message as you ensure every learner is following, then you might be flogging a dead horse.

Look: you can keep all your music students engaged. You see, some students tend to lose interest so fast. Others will struggle to remain afloat. However, as the educator, you must utilize great techniques to keep all of them attentive. With that said, here are ways you can make your music class get engaged. Truly, music education can be high energy if you do the following.

Use Music that is familiar to the kids

Yes, you should consider using Music that kids can easily relate to like  the frenzied drumming of Junkyard Beats. If they like the Music you are using, then you will not strain to get their attention. This is one of the best and highly recommended ways to keep your music learners interested in your lesson.

You do not have to use Music that was used in the olden days. They may not be able to relate to it. You can try to ask your learners for a few suggestions on the kind of Music they would find interesting and make your choice from the ones selected. That way, you will realize that all learners are engaged in your class and are more interested in knowing a lot more.

Teach via Games

A class ought to be fun, and all the students engaged. To achieve this, you can make use of games in your teaching. Plan your lessons well, and use games to pass your concept. You will make the class more fun and in high energy.

A typical music lecture may not be ideal nowadays. You can get a great alternative that involves the use of games.  You will be amazed at your students find it good to work together and in an interactive manner.

Always Show Positive Attitude

Make sure you maintain a positive attitude throughout the music lesson. You see, if the learners find out that your attitude is pathetic, then the lesson will not be as engaged as it should be. Most of them might lose interest, and chances of achieving your class objective are rendered low. Thus, always approach your lessons with a positive attitude that even motivates the learners. They will find it fun and more welcoming to engage.

Make use of Technology

To make your class high energy, then you need to embrace technology. Many learners are becoming tech-savvy, and the trend does not seem to stop. This connotes that Technology will keep shaping most industries, including the music sector.

You should consider making apps and websites that can give you good songs and videos. For example, YouTube has been one of the best platforms to get dongs and videos. You can use it in your teaching.


You can make your music education better and very engaging if you make use of the tips shared in this article. They are all worth your attention and can even pin them or share with your fellow educators.

Teaching The Importance of Teamwork

Teaching the importance of teamwork early on can be very beneficial. Children love to play. They could do that all day. It is good for them. Physical activity makes them healthy and imaginative playing makes them smart. From tag, just jumping around to hide-and-seek, playing pirates or knights and fort building. Playing with other kids can be the start of teaching the importance of teamwork. Play is their way to let out all this boundless energy and imagination. Play helps them develop language, social skills and basic math. 


Teamwork would mean differently to a child depending on age. Toddlers don’t really care for it. But tell them you’re playing pirates and he will assign you a job. This is the start of a framework. This is where teaching the importance of teamwork begin. First, that he cannot always be captain. Make them take turns. Making rules, following those rules, taking turns can show them the benefits of compromise. Exposure to different roles in incursions, excursions and kids activities can show where their true skills and inclination lies. Playing with others they learn to share and develop kindness.


Patience is not a strong suit with children. This is where they will try to reason, negotiate and try to solve conflicts. Teamwork highlights their strengths and they learn self-regulation if things do not go their way. It teaches how to best make those individual strengths become cohesive and combine it to use in a strategy. Remember two heads are better than one. Most children will want to work on something once they feel that is partly theirs. And since it is not just solely theirs, they will care for it and be responsible. And as second nature, anyone not pulling their weight or being responsible gets called on. 


Eventually, one child will emerge as leader. This goes to the one they trust the most. The one they think would move the team forward and make them to become a better team. Seeing a goal completed or a finished task will give them a sense of accomplishment and boost their confidence. That’s a step in the right direction. A step in building a happier child.

Our Kids Are Our Future

Our kids are our future, how many times have you heard that statement? If you are a parent this may make obvious sense to you. If you are young and without offspring, the import of this declaration may not be quite so relevant to your current perspective. Ultimately, we cannot escape from our biological imperative, which is to propagate the species. Everything else in life sits atop the chemical reality of our existence. Love is a behavioural response to hormonal changes within us, generated by things like sexual attraction and the nurturing instinct following childbirth. Ignoring these biological realities, when discussing these issues culturally is a mistake.

Too Ready to Deny Our Physical Selves

Too often I see dissertations on love without reference to the basis upon which it exists within us as human beings. We are all too ready to deny our physical selves and elevate our feelings to some pseudo spiritual peak. All of our religious doctrines and the later new age pastiche have aspired to teach us to live above our natures as biological animals. Perhaps, we can lay the blame at Plato’s feet. This desperate desire to see the soul and deny the flesh and blood before our eyes has blinded us to what it is to take responsibility as human beings.

Health, Education & Nurturing Love

Our kids are our future and they are human beings, not indigo spirits or any other romanticised vision. Building strong foundations of health, education and nurturing love, will serve our children best. Put away the poppycock of supernatural entities and spiritual mumbo jumbo. Healthy kids are balanced kids. We need to embrace the realities of biological life and stop shying away from life and death truths. The time for fairy tales and bedtime stories is over, for anyone over 9 YO. What they hear, must be understandable.

Miracles Do Not Exist

We owe it to our children to prepare them for the realities of life. Silly stories about things that didn’t really happen, do not serve their interests in the long run. Miracles do not exist, and people do not come back from the dead. There is no proof of any paradisiacal afterlife and there never can be. Feed your children good healthy food, the truth, and no nursery rhymes about religious fictions. Our kids are our future; and this planet deserves respectful, intelligent and compassionate beings to inhabit it. Honour your human beingness!