When should you bring your child in to the dentist?
Kids teeth are a lot softer than adult teeth. Their development is also important for chewing, speaking and continual jaw growth and for room for the adult teeth later. They need as much care and attention as our own.
Decay on baby teeth is common and can cause a lot of grief and anguish for both you and your child. Nursing caries is one such condition resulting from babies sucking on milk bottles or bottles of juice for long periods during the day or nigh. A better idea is to give your child cooled boiled water instead or use this after they have their bedtime milk.
- Clean them as soon as they appear. Use a damp clean cloth. They first appear around 6 months of age.
- There are special brushes for children’s specific ages. Use these – they have soft bristles and smaller handles for easier use.
- Try and get your child to see themselves getting their teeth cleaned in the bathroom mirror. Let them brush while watching you. Don’t fret about the battle you may encounter with your child – it does take years for them to get used to it so make try and make it an enjoyable experience for both of you.
- Use toothpaste formula that is specific for you child’s age. Use only a smear.
- Reduce their sugar intake – beware of hidden sugars in processed food and juices. Just google “hidden sugars” and you can find out more information about how much extra sugar is added to their foods.
- Make sure they brush their teeth twice a day. Night time brushing is really important. They should not eat or drink after they do this last brush. They will need help brushing, until they are around 6 years old.
- Use the correct toothbrush and toothpaste for their age. Use a pea size amount of toothpaste. And get them to spit out at the end.
- This video will show you how to correctly brush your teeth.
- Try to minimise their snack intake, especially snacks that have sugar in them. Try fruit, vegetables or savoury snacks. If they have juice or cordial, make it diluted with water. Eating a healthy snack after stimulates saliva which helps protect the teeth.
- The baby teeth start falling out between 5 and 7 years of age and continue until they are around 10 to 12 years old.
- Snacks can have a bad influence on your child’s teeth. The main things to consider are consistency and frequency of their snack. Consistency refers to how sticky the food is – the stickier it is, the worse it is for them. For example, some muesli bars, toffees, chocolate are sticky. They stick to the teeth even if they have been cleaned. The sugar stays in the mouth for longer periods which is damaging to them. Frequency is the other important factor. Each time your child eats, the food makes acid which softens the teeth. The more sugar that is in the food, the more acid that is produced. And the more often they have that food, even if it is a biscuit at morning tea, one at lunch and one at afternoon tea, the constant barrage of sugar will be more problematic for their teeth. Try to reduce their sweet intake to once per day and then make sure they can brush their teeth after it to make sure they are cleaned.
Medicare’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule
The Medicare Teen Dental Plan closed at the end of 2013. The new replacement plan is called the Child Dental Benefit Schedule. You may have received a letter from the Government regarding your child’s entitlement to this. If not, you can call Medicare on 132 011 to check if your child is eligible.
We cater for this new plan and offer a bulk billed service for items on this new plan.