• Modelling good dental health practices early in your child’s life helps them see it as a normal part of life.
  • One way to get your child used to teeth cleaning is to wipe their gums with a soft cloth twice a day. Alternatively, you can start with using a finger toothbrush early on to get them used to a toothbrush.
  • With as little as a few teeth, bacteria can establish and start causing decay, so you should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth comes through.
  • As soon as the teeth appear, you can switch to using a soft children’s brush, with no toothpaste until 18 months of age, while your child lies on your lap or on a bed at least once a day, preferably twice daily.
  • Oh Yes! Flossing is necessary; your paediatric dentist/ dentist can show you the correct technique.

Oh Yes! Flossing is necessary; your paediatric dentist/ dentist can show you the correct technique.

While you might think it’s not necessary to book an appointment until your baby has a full set of teeth, which usually takes place by the age of 3, the earlier your child visits the dentist the better. Usually, your child’s first visit to the dentist will involve the taking of their full medical history, and possible discussions about:

  • Teething
  • Brushing techniques
  • Bite (how your children’s teeth come together)
  • Habits such as thumb sucking
  • The risk of decay and how to prevent it
  • Prevention of traumatic injury to your child’s mouth
  • Nutritional advice

We encourage the parents being positive about these visits, avoiding using the dentist/dental tools as deterrents for bad behaviour such as not brushing teeth. Always remember that the Paediatric dental team is well-trained in dealing with babies and young children. (Sources: ADA.org) .

Paediatric dentists are paediatricians of dentistry. A Paediatric Dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits their practice to treating children only. Paediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. General/Family Dentists are trained in all aspects of dentistry and can see children all the way, through their childhood into their adulthood.

Deciduous or "baby," teeth are very important for lots of reasons. They help children speak clearly and chew naturally and aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. While the front baby teeth are lost / shed to get their adult counterparts between six and eight years of age the back teeth (baby canines and baby molars) aren’t replaced until the child is 10-13 years old. The first adult molar grows at the very back of the mouth when your child turns 6 years old, but it has no baby precursor.

It is advisable to rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold face-washer / pack on the face if it is swollen. Give the child Paracetamol for any pain, rather than placing any medication such as Bonjella topically on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a paediatric / dentist as soon as possible.

Thumb and pacifier or dummy sucking habits are of a concern if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they continue the non-nutritive sucking habit past the age of three, we may see discrepancies and change of bite that may require intervention by means of orthodontic guidance or appliances in the future.

Parental help to stop

In many cases, positive encouragement and reminders to help stop the habit is all that is needed- not punitive behaviours! If a child is positive and motivated to stop the habit, then parents can try some simple procedures to help the child to stop the habit. Adhesive bandages around the thumb which the child can place themselves as reminders, wearing an oversized pyjama top with the sleeve sewn so that there is no access to the thumb can also be helpful. Positive motivational calendar sticker charts are another way to remind the child of their wonderful self-help journey

A child cannot be forced into stopping a habit if they are not ready for a change. In order to break the habit, the child needs to be mature enough to understand this and this normally is around the age of 6-7 years.
Best to speak with your dentist/ paediatric dentist to discuss ways we can manage the habit. A child cannot be forced into stopping a habit if they are not ready for a change. In order to break the habit, the child needs to be mature enough to understand this and this normally is around the age of 6-7 years. Best to speak with your dentist/ paediatric dentist to discuss ways we can manage the habit. S o u r c e : https://www.aapd.org.au/post/thumb- fi ngersucking#.XuVVsS2r2qA)

Breast feeding doesn’t not cause decay! However, it is best to avoid nursing/feeding children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle especially past 12 months of age when other mixed feedings have started. Also, it is important to learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a paediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.

The frequency of reviews is based depending on your child’s individual needs. A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

The sooner the better! Starting early soon after birth, we recommend cleaning your child’s mouth and gums with a soft infant toothbrush or face-cloth and water. Once the teeth appear, we recommend initiating brushing twice daily using a low strength florid toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a "smear" or “rice grain” sized of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child 2 years of age and younger. For 3-6 year olds, use a "pea-size" amount of toothpaste and assist your child’s toothbrushing.

REMEMBER: The young child doesn’t not have the dexterity and ability to manipulate a small toothbrush around the mouth to effectively clean their own mouth!

Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing

  • Eating a healthy balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat, fish and eggs is important for teeth and a healthy body.
  • Trying to limit the frequency and servings of sugars and carbohydrate/ starches will also help in preserving your child's teeth from decay.
  • You can also discuss with your dentist/ paediatric dentist to help you in selecting foods that are best to protect your children's teeth.
  • Sealants work by filling in the deep grooves on the biting and chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • This protects bacteria and food particles that could get caught in these groovy grooves of the teeth, causing cavities.
  • Your dentist/ Paediatric Dentist can provide these quickly and application is comfortable which can effectively protect teeth for many years.
  • A soft mouthguard can be used to protect your child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related traumatic injuries.
  • A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a North Lakes Paediatric
  • dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head. years.

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth

For baby teeth:

It is important you do to replace or reposition the teeth. If there is a head injury please contact you nearest emergency department or doctor to get your child assessed. You can then contact your nearest paediatric dentist to ensure you have the child’s dental injuries assesses and / treated.

For a permanent tooth:

IHold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the Paediatric Dentist. For any dental emergencies pls call us on: 07 3495 0250

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth

  • A child’s mouth is growing and changing rapidly. X-rays are important to identify the decay or cavities developing between teeth to ensure we can see them before they cause major damage. Prevention is always better than the cure!
  • If the child has teeth that are already touching or contacting tightly or has had cavities filled before and is high risk for developing new areas of decay (see images), we may need to take X-rays more frequently, at least once in 3-6 months.
  • In a low decay- risk child, we may need to take them less frequently
  • Dental X-rays are extremely safe and carry little risk. With today’s modern equipment and contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received is extremely small. Dental X-rays represent a far lesser risk than undiagnosed and unread dental decay
  • We at North Lakes Paediatric Dentistry are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed
  • High-speed digital films and lead aprons where needed are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
  • Parents can assist in the prevention by ensuring the children follow a healthy diet and visit the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth.
  • We recommend starting the preventive checks around the 12 month mark or around the time of first tooth emerging
  • At this first appointment, the dentist can recommend a custom based program of brushing, flossing, and any other measures for parents to supervise and teach to their children.
  • These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits and teeth

It’s also not just about the teeth:

  • Early Childhood Decay is associated with Iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Early Childhood Caries or Decay is also associated with Malnutrition including low vitamin D, low calcium, and albumin concentrations and elevated PTH levels.
  • Early Childhood Caries is associated with Disordered eating and
  • It is also associated with extremes of Failure to thrive and obesity (Ref: Sheiham, A. Dental caries affects body weight, growth and quality of life in pre-school children. Br Dent J 201, 625–626 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.4814259

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