Our Oral Health Therapists are highly competent in children’s dentistry and have a warm, friendly and caring manner that makes visiting the dentist an enjoyable experience.
Your child’s First VisitIt is important that your child’s first visit to the dentist is early rather than waiting for problems to occur. At 6 months we are able to check for any abnormalities, but more importantly we can advise you on ideal diet requirements and good habits to help avoid the need for your child to ever have fillings!
It’s common for very young children not to let the dentist look at their teeth on the first visit, remaining positive and taking time is key. It’s also important not to let your fears or phobias affect them.
During your child’s first visit the dentist may:
- Conduct a dietary analysis
- Check genetic abnormalities
- Discuss your home habits, so when your child gets their first teeth you know they are safe?
- Assess your child’s risk of dental problems such as decay or crooked teeth
- Clean your child’s mouth
- Apply a fluoride treatment
- Educate them on good oral hygiene, and show them how to brush and floss
- Refer them to another dental specialist such as an orthodontist
Your child’s dietYour child’s diet plays an essential role in helping to keep their teeth healthy. Eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks can contribute to dental decay. These effects can be prevented by following some healthy diet tips:
Foods high in sugar, such as concentrated fruit snacks, sweets and lollies, muesli bars and sugary soft drinks and juices all contribute to dental decay and erosion. Refined foods such as savoury crackers and chips can also have high carbohydrate (complex sugar) content, which is why it’s important to check the information labels on packaged foods to determine which foods are suitable. These foods, if eaten often over long periods of time, are high risk for causing dental decay.
- Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods that are high in calcium and low in acids and sugar
- Enjoy healthy snacks such as cheese and fruit
- Feed your children a diet which is high in fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, lean meats and dairy products
- Limit sugary foods such as lollies, cordial, soft drinks and biscuits to special occasions and always rinse out with water afterwards
Many drinks that are high in sugar are also acidic which means they can have an erosive effect on your child’s teeth. Sports drinks, soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices and cordials often have high levels of acid. These types of drinks should be limited and your child should be encouraged to drink water as often as possible.
- Avoid holding or swishing high acid drinks in the mouth
- Use a straw when drinking soft drink and fruit juices to minimize the acid exposure to teeth
- Sugar free gum can stimulate saliva flow and wash acids away
- After drinking acidic drinks rinse with water to help remove any acids remaining in the mouth
Most importantly, to protect against dental decay your child’s healthy diet must be complimented by good oral hygiene, which means brushing and flossing daily and regular preventative care visits to the dentist from an early age.
Tooth eruption is when teeth develop and enter the mouth. Although they develop during pregnancy, the baby teeth usually start to erupt at 6 months of age and the last baby tooth erupts at about 2 years of age. Baby teeth or primary teeth start erupting at approximately 6 months until 2 years of age. At around the age of 6 years, the permanent teeth start erupting and there is a mixture of primary and permanent teeth, which is called mixed dentition.
Adult teeth will grow and push out the baby teeth, and molar teeth will grow behind the baby teeth. There are usually 3 sets of molar teeth: 6 year old and 12 year old molars, followed by wisdom teeth.