Paediatric Children’s Dentistry
Paediatric Children’s dentistry: Parents often have questions about how to take care of their children’s teeth. When should you start brushing? What kind of toothpaste is best? When should you go to the dentist? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you keep your kids’ teeth healthy and cavity free.
Taking your child to the dentist does not need to be a stressful event. To help with this our caring staff are here to make your appointments a pleasant experience for both you and your child.
Our team are more than happy to treat children of all years of age, from the youngest of the family to the oldest. Our goal is to provide a caring and comfortable environment so that dental treatment is not a stressful event for you or your kids.
“As soon as your child has teeth, it is valuable to have them checked. This is also a great opportunity to discuss tooth brushing and the impact of diet on your child’s teeth,” says Dr George Chammas. “These visits lay down the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.”
We can help your children from their first dental appointments, all the way through to adulthood – and our practice has done just that for multiple generations of Sydney residents.
Why Should You Take Your Children to a Family Dentist?
There are several key factors, such as environment, diet and hereditary factors, that can display themselves in multiple (or even all) members of the same family. You can read about these factors, and the benefits of seeing a family dentist here.
A family dentist is in a privileged position to view the overall health of your family, and this allows them to identify and monitor many potential problems with your child’s dental health. It also gives an opportunity for early diagnosis.
“There are many medical anomalies that present in multiple family members,” says Dr Alana Evans. “Knowing that one of these anomalies exists in the family allows for better planning and management of your child’s dental treatment.”
Is My Child Too Young for the Dentist?
The Australian Dental Association recommends your child’s first dental appointment at 12 months of age, or shortly after the eruption of their first baby teeth.
During this visit, the dentist will check the health of the child’s first teeth, and any potential alignment issues. It is also an opportunity to go over any important information for parents, such as the best toothbrushes, pastes and dental products to use to ensure your child maintains healthy teeth!
“If your child comes to the dentist regularly, they will feel more comfortable in the environment and have a greater understanding of oral health and the need for treatment,” says Dr Alana Evans.
“This removes any fear of the dental chair, makes treatment more manageable and sets them up for a lifetime of good dental health.”
For more age appropriate information for your child, and tips to keep their smiles healthy – check out our kid’s dental timeline articles using the buttons below.
Tips for Parents
Although you don’t necessarily need to brush them yet, you should start cleaning your infant’s teeth as soon as he gets his first tooth. At first, you can just use a wash cloth to clean your infant’s teeth. As he gets more, you can use a soft children’s toothbrush.
Because there is some danger if your child gets too much fluoride, your choice of toothpaste is important. Keep in mind that most brands of kids’ toothpaste are fluoridated. They just have different flavors and popular characters on them to make them more fun for children, but that doesn’t make it safe for your children to swallow too much of the toothpaste.
If using a fluoride toothpaste, use a small, pea-size amount of toothpaste, so that there is little danger of your child getting too much fluoride if he swallows it. And begin to encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste at a young age.
The other alternative for younger children is to use a non-fluoridated toothpaste, such as Baby Orajel Tooth and Gum Cleanser, until they are spitting the toothpaste out.
The timing of the first visit to the dentist is a little controversial. The Australian Academy of Paediatric Children’s Dentistry states that children should see a dentist when they get their first tooth and not later than 1 year of age. In contrast, according to the Academy of Paediatric Children’s dentistry, unless your child has risk factors for having problems with his teeth, such as sleeping with a cup or bottle, teeth staining, thumb sucking, etc., the first visit to the dentist should be by around the third birthday.
However, an early visit to the dentist is a good way to learn proper oral hygiene at an early age, including avoiding nighttime bottles or cups of formula or juice, proper tooth-brushing, and a diet that promotes good dental health. You may also want to see a Paediatric Children’s dentist early if your child has a medical condition that puts him at risk of having dental problems, such as Down Syndrome.
Another important topic is figuring out if your child is getting enough fluoride. Children begin to need supplemental fluoride by the age of six months. If he is drinking tap water (either alone, or mixed with formula or 100% fruit juice), and you live in an area with the water is fluoridated, then he should be getting an adequate amount of fluoride. If he doesn’t drink water, or is drinking well water, unfluoridated bottled water (most brands of bottled water don’t have fluoride in them unless the label specifically states that they do), or filtered water, then he may not be getting enough fluoride to keep his teeth healthy. Talk with our dentist about fluoride supplements.
Water filters are a special concern, because some of them do filter out fluoride. Counter top filters and the pitcher type filters usually don’t remove fluoride, but more sophisticated, point of use filters can. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer to see if the filter removes fluoride.
You should also talk with your dentist about using sealants in your school age child. A sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the teeth, hardens, and provides a barrier against plaque and other harmful substances. Sealants can be applied to the 1st and 2nd permanent molars to help protect the grooves and pits of these teeth that can be hard to clean and are prone to developing cavities, and appropriate premolars as soon as possible after they erupt (usually after 6 years of age).
What about flossing?
Flossing is an important part of good dental hygiene. You can usually begin flossing once your child is about 3-4 years old, but they likely won’t be able to floss on their own until they are 8-10 years old.
In addition to teaching your children the importance of regular brushing and flossing, routine visits to the dentist and a healthy diet, it is important that you set a good example by also practising good dental hygiene. If you do not brush and floss each day or regularly see a dentist, then it is unlikely that your children will either.
Contact us today for any Paediatric Children’s Dentistry and our qualified staff will make your child feel comfortable in our Sydney Dental Practice.