With the end of school holidays fast approaching, it’s a good time to reflect on your child’s dental health. Children’s teeth are extremely important to their overall health, Primary teeth (baby teeth) are vital for chewing and speaking, and also hold space in the jaws for the adult teeth that are developing in the gums. They start to erupt as early as 6 months, and usually have a full set by age 3. The first permanent begin to come through when a child is about 6. By 12 to 13, most children have 28 permanent teeth. The last 4 molars (‘wisdom teeth’) usually come through between 17 and 21 years.
Children should first be taken to a dentist between 18 to 24 months. This allows the early detection of dental problems whilst also gently introducing young children to the dental practice environment.
Looking after your Child’s teeth
When the first teeth start to erupt through the gums, wipe the daily with clean damp wash cloth or gauze pad, without toothpaste. After 18 months, begin to use a small tooth brush with soft bristles, twice a day. Start by teaching your child how to hold the brush. However you will need to brush your child’s teeth as they will lack the dexterity. Only after their second birthday do we start to use toothpaste. Begin using a smear of fluoridated junior toothpaste on a small tooth brush. Parents must supervise to ensure toothpaste is not swallowed and really should continue to supervise their teeth brushing until kids are at least 6 to 7 years old.
Baby teeth are weaker than adult teeth and more susceptible to decay and acid attack. Early childhood decay is often associated with baby bottle habits. Follow these tips:
· Do not give your baby or young child milk, sweetened drinks or fruit juices to go to sleep with, or o suck on for a long time during the day
· Try not to leave the bottle in your baby’s mouth whilst asleep
· Try to change to a cup or feeding mug as soon as possible
· Do not place honey on a baby’s pacifier
Young children can also benefit from the following tips:
· Eat nutritious foods that are low in sugar, including vegetables, fresh fruits and nuts
· Avoid snacking in between meals or grazing (sipping or eating sweets / drinks throughout the day)
· Limit the frequency of sweets and avoid the really sticky ones
· Limit sweets, sticky snacks, soft drinks, cordials and fruit drinks
We at Cranbourne Dental Care offer a wide variety of services to help maintain your child’s healthy teeth. We strive to create a calm, non-threatening environment where kids can feel safe and comfortable when receiving treatment. We now have a children’s therapist who is available on weekends and afternoons.
Currently we offer NO GAP PREVENTATIVE TREATMENT (examination, cleaning, fluoride treatment and fissure seals) to all children with health funds (must have dental cover).