Dental care for babies, toddlers, children and teens
Dental care for babies, toddlers, school children, teens and young adults if offered with support, advice, and referral to paediatric specialists where required.
Our Dentists are mothers also and understand the importance of making the visit a fun and happy experience for children of all ages.
Our dental professionals, Dr Leila, Dr Amy and Christine, our oral health therapist, are experienced in connecting with our smaller patients in a caring way, and we try to make a child's visit with us an enjoyable experience.
We also offer a firm, yet gentle touch for older children, who may be over indulging in sweets, soft drinks or not quite up to scratch with their home care. Of course we see many children who are also doing a fantastic job. We also offer support for parents with suggestions and tips on making oral hygiene effective and a priority for your child.
Good home care habits are critical to good health for babies, toddlers, children and teenagers.
It is recommended that children visit the dentist by the age of about 2.5 years. Even a ride in the chair is a gentle introduction as to what is involved in a dental visit, and sets up a good routine for a child to visit the dentist each 6 months. By around 2.5 years of age, all 20 of the baby teeth should be showing in the mouth. Brushing them thoroughly is critical to good health, to make sure the plaque bacteria does not damage the teeth.
Some of our patients who were children, now bring their own children in for check ups.
Some children have more decay than others and are more susceptible to decay. This can be true of children in the same family. Thorough and regular examinations are necessary to monitor oral hygiene, dental and facial development, the potential need for orthodontic treatment, decay risk and gum disease.
If preventative care is strictly adhered to, children need not suffer dental disease. With encouragement from our Dental Hygienists and Dentists, we find that children and teenagers respond positively, with improvements in brushing technique, regularity, taking up flossing, and making better food choices.
Fissure sealing may be recommended for children whose teeth are ‘at risk’. This involves bonding a plastic coating on the permanent molars, where the enamel is 'immature' for protection. It is particularly useful for teeth with deep grooves which cannot be reached with a toothbrush. Research indicates that fissure sealing of teeth leads to a 55% reduction in the chance of decay.
Limiting the number of times children eat sugary foods or have sweet drinks, brushing effectively and flossing are the best measures against decay.
Children under seven don’t have the manual dexterity or the mental application to brush effectively, so parents should do it for them.
Although primary (or baby) teeth are only present during early childhood years, they play an important role in the development of your child’s smile and long term oral health.
This is because primary teeth:
- Help protect developing adult teeth
- Prevent jaw bone loss and gum deterioration
- Retain space within the mouth for the correct positioning of adult teeth
- Support the development of your child’s jaw and facial structure
This is why it is highly important to invest in the health of your child’s baby teeth by maintaining a comprehensive at home dental care routine and visiting the dentist and dental hygienist every six months for a check-up, or yearly at least.
It's a common saying that prevention is the cure, and it is by far the best treatment in dentistry. The key focus for preventive strategies is best started for children, so that their first dental experience is a positive one, and by seeing children early on, dental staff can assist the child to practice good oral hygiene to prevent significant problems from occurring. Research indicates that 50% of children and three out of 10 adults have untreated tooth decay in Australia, which is concerning given that 90% of dental disease is preventable, with the severity and prevalence of tooth decay increasing since the mid 1990's. By reducing the sugar consumption in the diet, especially of sugary drinks, and acidic foods, and with healthy oral hygiene habits, such as tooth brushing twice a day, and flossing once a day, tooth decay can be prevented. Early childhood caries (EEC) is the number one chronic disease affecting young children, and is completely preventable.
Dental decay disease crosses all socioeconomic boundaries with high prevalence and is a significant health burden in Australia and around the world. Decay is an infectious disease that is modified by diet, and is a significant predictor of long term dental health problems and creates problems with speech, eating and poor self esteem, and therefore prevention is identified as a key priority. Healthy teeth and gums are important to a child's general health and well being, and prevention is most definitely superior to the cure. Sugar consumption is steadily rising globally, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued recommendations on sugar consumption to reduce the risk of diseases in adults and children, with a specific focus on obesity and tooth decay.
Tooth decay is thought to result in dental care costs which are 5-10% of the health budgets of industrialised countries, and with oral diseases related to systemic disease, dental health is recognised as a measure of good overall health. One of the challenges with dental health is that many people believe that cavities are inevitable, with almost 100% of adults having experienced tooth decay. Studies indicate that almost half of adults forget to brush and floss before bed, and the expectation ought to be that people can keep their teeth without fillings, with the right preventive care measures, home care and observance by a dental health care provider each 6 months.