2. Do you have any oral health regrets?
I seriously damaged my two front teeth in a horse riding incident and had to have veneers. Not wearing a mouth guard when doing sports is a big regret.
3. Did becoming a mum change the way you thought about the importance of oral health?
Yes, as a parent you have to look after your children and teeth is a massive part of that. Even though they lose them at an early age and get their adult teeth it's important to ensure they're learning how to care for their teeth by mirroring you and that is ingrained into their daily routine from an early age.
4. At what age did you start to introduce an oral health routine to your son?
As soon as his first little cute tooth came along! I was there with the tiny toothbrush cleaning that all important first tooth!
5. Were there any problems you encountered when you first started brushing your son's teeth?
Because I introduce oral health care to Indio at such an early age and he watches me do it, cleaning our teeth is normal practice for him. That being said, if I didn't remind him he'd be quite happy not to and would probably forget! But he's very well behaved when it comes to brushing his teeth.
6. What tips and tricks do you find particularly effective in helping him to brush his teeth?
Fortunately, I haven't had to use too many tricks to get him to brush his teeth. Our whole bed and bathroom routine is always really fun! We all use electric toothbrushes and he has a Disney Cars Lightening McQueen one, by using that and some nice tasting children's fluoride toothpaste the process is age appropriate. Now he's 5 he's at an age where he's starting to brush independently, he asks for his toothbrush and brushing his teeth is so set into his routine that I put the toothbrush down with the toothpaste on it, you can go and start getting his bedroom ready for bed and I can hear him brushing away. I say right top back and he opens his mouth and he really cares for his teeth well. I think the right toothbrush is a huge part of it, he loves his cars and loves using that toothbrush! I still go round his mouth afterwards with the brush to check he has reached everywhere, whilst praising him for how well he has done.
7. Do you think the way you manage your son's oral health will change once he is ready to care for his teeth independently?
100% because if you don't supervise and watch him brush, you don't know he's done it effectively and if he were to brush his teeth entirely on his own he'd easily forget. I think he would miss he morning brush more than the evening brush as it's so busy and there's a lot more madness!
8. How often does your son go to the dentist?
We go every 6 months as a family.
9. How important is it to you that he sees the dentist regularly? Why is this?
You have to look after their teeth, when he gets his adult set that's with him for life and if he doesn't look after them they run the risk of rotting and needing treatments like a root canal. Toothache is a horrible thing, it's painful and by going to the dentists regularly you can prevent it. I'm religious about going to the dentist myself to lead by example and go for cleans every few months.
10. What is your advice for parents struggling with getting their children to adopt a good oral health routine?
The key is to start young. If you are having problems now and they are slightly older, you have to make it fun, make it important and make it routine by ensuring they brush at the same time every night.
11. Why are you supporting the Big Family Brush-Up?
I've always taken good care of my teeth and as a parent I feel that we have a duty to protect the next generation's oral health. It's not always easy against a backdrop of sugary treats and busy lifestyles but we only have one set of teeth so it's important that we care for them right from the appearance of the first tooth. I believe that by setting a good example and teaching children to care for their teeth properly from a young age their teeth will last them a lifetime. That's why I'm supporting the Big Family Brush-Up campaign. They've got brilliant tips, tricks and brushing guides from dental experts to make adopting a good oral health routine that little bit easier. all of this great help and advice is available at www.bigfamilybrushup.co.uk.