Your children’s dentist in Brisbane
The question most often asked is “when should kids start going to the dentist?”
There are two answers: when the first tooth erupts, or when they reach two years of age. Their first tooth can erupt any time after 6 months. So, it really is up to you as a parent if you feel comfortable bringing a six-month old baby to your dentist.
Whichever age you do choose to bring your child to the dentist, we advise you bring them before their seventh birthday. By having their baby (milk) teeth assessed your Dream Smiles dentist can assess their oral health and ensure they stay on the right track.
Cavities in baby teeth
It is a common misconception that because baby teeth fall out it’s not too big a deal if they get cavities. There are a few reasons why this is wrong. The biggest reason is how important baby teeth are to your child’s development. Baby teeth help with speech development, bite and preparing your mouth for adult teeth. If the health of baby teeth is adversely affected by decay this can cause damage to their adult teeth.
In fact there have been cases were decay in baby teeth have spread, and adult teeth have erupted with complications—sometimes they don’t erupt properly which either requires orthodontic work or extraction.
Want to give your child the best chance of good oral health for life?
There are a few things you can do for your child in infancy to help put them on the right track for good oral health. When they are a baby, it’s a good idea to wipe their gums down with damp cloth after feeding. This prevents any sugars or bacteria seeping through the gums and affecting teeth that haven’t erupted yet.
Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. The sugars in these will settle on their gums and can cause decay for teeth which haven’t yet come through.
When your child does get their first tooth, you should start cleaning that too. All you need is a tiny amount of toothpaste. No more than a pea-sized amount. Gently clean their tooth and their gums and ensure they rinse their mouth.
Dream Smiles is your preferred children’s dentist in Sunnybank, Brisbane
When you bring your child in for their first visit, we will take them for a ride in the dental chair. The goal of their first visit is to familiarise them with the practice, so they know it’s a normal thing. Ideally, you can bring your child when you have your appointment. This way they can see that even their mum or dad has to visit the dentist.
For information about children’s dentistry, or to request an appointment, contact Dream Smiles Sunnybank today.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Australia, it is recommended that a child should visit the dentist by the age of one or within six months after the eruption of their first tooth. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) supports early dental visits to promote good oral health from an early age.
The purpose of the first dental visit is to introduce the child to the dental environment, assess their oral health, provide guidance on oral hygiene practices, and address any concerns or questions parents may have. Early dental visits help establish a positive dental experience for the child and enable the dentist to monitor their dental development closely.
Several common dental problems can occur in children. Here are some of the most frequently encountered dental issues:
1. Tooth decay: Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is a prevalent problem in children. It is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on the teeth. Poor oral hygiene, sugary foods and drinks, and inadequate fluoride exposure contribute to tooth decay.
2. Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to improper alignment or positioning of the teeth. This can include issues such as crowded teeth, crooked teeth, overbite (upper teeth protrude over the lower teeth), underbite (lower teeth protrude over the upper teeth), or crossbite (misalignment of upper and lower teeth).
3. Thumb-sucking: Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use can lead to dental problems in children. It can cause improper alignment of the teeth and the development of an open bite (when the front teeth don’t touch when the back teeth are closed).
4. Dental trauma: Accidents and injuries can result in dental trauma, such as fractures, chips, or avulsion (complete loss) of teeth. Children who participate in sports or engage in physical activities are more prone to dental injuries.
5. Gum disease: While gum disease is more commonly associated with adults, children can also develop gum problems. Poor oral hygiene, plaque buildup, and certain medical conditions can contribute to gum disease in children.
6. Tooth sensitivity: Children may experience tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold temperatures. It can be caused by tooth decay, gum recession, enamel erosion, or tooth grinding.
Prevention through good oral hygiene practices, regular dental check-ups, a healthy diet, and appropriate dental care is essential to reducing the risk of these dental problems in children.
During your child’s initial visit to the dentist, the dental team will create a welcoming environment to ensure your child feels comfortable. They will conduct a gentle examination of the mouth and teeth, provide careful teeth cleaning, and offer advice on maintaining good oral hygiene. The dentist will also address any dental concerns you have and answer your questions. This first appointment is an excellent opportunity to establish a positive relationship between your child and the dentist, fostering a lifetime of oral health.