LOCKDOWN: Effects On The Oral Health Of Our Children.

LOCKDOWN: Effects On The Oral Health Of Our Children.

How can lockdown impact our children’s oral health?

The number of hats we are wearing on a daily basis is definitely keeping us on our toes! Teacher/Principle/Chef/Nurse/Doctor/Mum/Dad/Home keeper all whilst working from home! Our attempts to keep all balls in the air has caused our routines to deviate as we try our best each and every day.

So, with the daily situation at home being topsy turvy, it’s reasonable to believe that our oral health habits may fall by the wayside. In fact, a recent study highlights just that.

Researchers from the Netherlands have found that during the coronavirus lockdown;

  • 26% of parents skipped toothbrushing (more often in the morning)
  • 44% of parents let their child snack more often
  • and 22% let their child drink sweetened drinks more often.

While oral health may not be on the top of our priority list, you may benefit from some oral health tips to navigate your way.


Brushing twice per day with fluoridated toothpaste is essential to keep dental decay at bay and to maintain optimum gum and oral health. As parents, this often means ensuring our children are maintaining this routine as best as possible.

In-between meal snacking has a positive relationship with the dental decay experience. If the snacks consumed are sugary items; then the risk for dental decay significantly increases. This situation becomes more pronounced when a child is already a ‘high risk’ candidate for the development of dental decay. This includes children with systemic disorders, chronic illnesses, who take regular medication and individuals where the maintenance of oral hygiene is impaired.

It should be highlighted that children undergoing orthodontic treatment; fall into this risk category.

Being an involved parent during these tough times is of great importance. That being said, during lockdown it is MOST important to rely on preventive measures at the domestic level. Whilst oral health may not be on the forefront of our minds, the long- term effects of what this pandemic may cause towards the oral health in children may be significant. Watch this space.


1: Verlinden DA, Vermaire JH, Reijneveld SA, Schuller AA. [Impact of the corona lockdown on daily oral health care behaviour of young children]. Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Tandheelkunde. 2020 Nov;127(11):639-643. DOI: 10.5177/ntvt.2020.11.20063. PMID: 33252606.

2: Luzzi, V,  Ierardo, G,  Bossù, M,  Polimeni, A.  Paediatric Oral Health during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int J Paediatr Dent.  2021; 31: 20– 26. https://doi.org/10.1111/ipd.12737

Sandra Buchler

Sandra is a mum to three young children who loves travelling, exercise and a fabulous coffee. Sandra is also a board registered Specialist Paediatric Dentist passionate about Oral Health in the newborn through to the adolescent. She has a keen interest in treating anxious children and those with special needs.

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