Caring for children’s teeth is a vital part of caring for their health.
When children are young, they will grow and develop very quickly, and the same goes for their teeth. Regular dental check-ups allow us to make sure their pearly whites are in tip-top shape.
Children’s dentistry is mainly concerned with the prevention of decay in order to avoid further issues later on in life.
Did you know that baby teeth will lay the groundwork for adult teeth to come through? When your child’s baby teeth are healthy, it’s much easier for adult teeth to come in straight and healthy.
When you neglect baby teeth, it can cause them to fall out earlier than they should. This can cause a range of problems for your child like:
- Their teeth will move forward causing an overbite
- Baby teeth will shift and move around the mouth
- Speech problems
- Eating and chewing difficulties
When these issues happen, the permanent adult teeth will be more likely to grow in crooked and out of place. By maintaining the health of your child’s baby and adult teeth in the early stages of development, you can help prevent additional work in the future.
What happens on the first visit?
When you bring your child in for the first time, they will meet the dentist Dr Ian Odendaal and our oral health therapist and have an opportunity to get used to the dentist’s high-tech chair.
This first consultation is usually a visual inspection to make sure there’s nothing unusual with their teeth and gums. Dr Ian Odendaal will count your child’s teeth using the dental mirror. This is something we have found really fascinates and engages children.
Apart from an oral exam, we will assess your child’s development and identify any risk factors they may have for dental decay. We will also give you tips on what toothbrush and toothpaste to buy, foods and drinks to keep their tooth enamel strong and how to correctly brush and floss their teeth.
Tips for the first appointment
It is ideal to book a morning appointment for your child when they are fresh and more likely to be cooperative. But also be sure to plan in a way that does not interrupt your little one’s routine. We will obviously have you make it an exciting event for your child and if you like, you are welcome to bring along a few of their favourite toys to play with while waiting and hold onto if needed while in the chair.
Tooth Fairy appointment
If your child is frightened of the dentist or it is their first dental visit, a Tooth Fairy appointment is the perfect opportunity to kick-start their dental health, it can take the anxiety of the dentist away by making it a fun experience. Our Tooth Fairy can explain the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as help them stop sucking their thumb. At a Tooth Fairy appointment our oral health hygienist, Sarah, will be dressed as the Tooth Fairy to ensure your child’s first dental experience is one of a kind. They will receive a balloon, a gift pack and a certificate with a photograph with the Tooth Fairy.
How often should I bring my child to Lake View Dental?
Our team like to see children every six months. However, if we feel your child will benefit from more frequent checks then we can discuss this with you during their first visit. Regular check-ups help us keep a close eye on their developing dental health which can change quite quickly as they grow up. By letting us monitor them closely, we can pick up on any problems at an early stage, and before they cause any discomfort or pain to your child.
We try to make children’s visits as relaxing and fun as possible. Our experienced dental team encourage them to be interactive by showing them all the dental instruments and letting them know exactly what we are looking for and why.
Teaching oral hygiene to children
Children absorb information much easier at an early age. This is why it’s important to start a great oral hygiene routine for long-term oral health.
Setting up their effective oral hygiene routines now can greatly assist your child in the future by reducing their need for extensive dental services. When parents and dentists explain the purpose of regular dental appointments, children learn the importance of seeing the dentist and scheduling regular check-ups.
Your child can start to brush their own teeth as early as seven years old. However, keep in mind they will still need assistance to do an effective job. Flossing is also necessary at this age, but again much harder for children and you should floss a child’s teeth until the age of ten between regular six-monthly dental visits.
Child Dental Benefits Scheme (CDBS)
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) is a scheme run by Medicare that provides eligible children up to $1,000 over 2 calendar years to pay for a range of dental services.
If your child is eligible, the CDBS will cover dental services including examinations, routine cleaning, repairing cracked teeth, fillings and root canals. It doesn’t cover orthodontic treatment (such as braces) any dental work that needs to be done in hospital, or cosmetic dental procedures (such as replacing missing teeth).
To discover the importance of children’s dentistry, including tips and tricks to get your children excited about cleaning their teeth, read our blog here: https://lakeviewdental.net.au/resources/blog/importance-of-childrens-dentistry/
There are so many types of toothbrushes on the market and choosing the right one for your child can be quite confusing. Choose one that is designed for your child’s age, is easy to use and one that they will enjoy using twice a day (like one with their favourite cartoon character on it).
A toothbrush should fit easily in their mouth and have soft bristles made of a round-ended or polished material. This material will get your child’s teeth clean without being too harsh on the gums.
Did you know that the majority of tooth decay in children occurs between the teeth? If children flossed every day from the age of four, they would be at extremely low risk for tooth decay.
Children lack the manual dexterity for string floss but luckily, there are many other products exist to help the child or parent to floss, ask us today!
Here at Lake View Dental, we recommend bringing in your child six months after the eruption of their first tooth. We also urge parents to incorporate their child’s first dental visit with your own maintenance appointment. That way, your child will feel more relaxed and comfortable after seeing mum or dad have their teeth examined first.
There are a surprising number of parents who wait until their child is ‘old enough’ at around age four and up or who wait until their child is suffering from toothache before bringing them in for a dental appointment. The appropriate age to start bringing your little one in is in fact from about two years old because their baby teeth should be fully emerged, making it the ideal time to begin establishing healthy oral hygiene habits in them as well as creating a healthy relationship with going to the dentist.
For little ones, we recommend using a low fluoride toothpaste option to begin with. Squeeze out only a pea-sized amount onto their toothbrush and proceed with brushing. Once done. Your little one can spit the toothpaste out but do not rinse the mouth with water as this will allow a little bit of fluoride (imperative for teeth health) to stay in the mouth after brushing
At Lake View Dentistry we aim to assist all parents by hosting Tooth Fairy days. Our qualified dentist, Sarah, dresses up in a full Tooth Fairy outfit and helps to set your child’s mind at ease. Together with her assistant Mikayla, they provide your child with an unforgettable experience at the dentist, which will help to alleviate any future fears or anxieties around going to the dentist. At their Tooth Fairy appointment, your child will also receive a balloon, a gift pack and a certificate with a photo to award their bravery!
One way that you can make brushing fun, is by playing a song that they like. To ensure they brush for 2 minutes, use a phone application that can remind them to brush for the required time.
It is recommended that you use a damp washcloth and gently rub their gums. Using a toothbrush should only happen when their teeth start to appear.
Children’s Dentistry Birtinya
Here at Lake View Dental, we will provide a relaxing and stress-free experience for you and your child. Our state-of-the-art office is equipped with the most advanced technology and equipment to ensure that you achieve high-quality service and results.
Together we can make sure that your child has the healthiest smile possible.
To book an appointment, contact our friendly staff today.