We know that having children adopt great oral hygiene habits from a young age is key to a life of good oral health. We’re here to help you do this, and provide a lot of positive dental experiences for you and your child along the way.
We recommend that your child come in for their first visit as soon as their first few teeth are visible. This helps them become familiar with the dental environment and being in the dental chair. It also ensures that no potential dental issues or early development problems go unnoticed.
Our gentle dental team aims to help you give your child the best possible start to a life of great oral health.
What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Our aim, when it comes to your child’s first dental appointment, is to gently familiarise them with the dental environment and help them feel at ease. This initial appointment includes a ride in the dental chair and a subtle examination to check growth and development. Your dentist will check their teeth (or tooth), gums and oral tissues. They will also check their bite and jaw.
This appointment is a great time to ask your dentist questions about kids’ oral health and the best way to care for your child’s teeth and gums at home.
At The Happy Tooth, we do everything we can to ensure your child’s dental visit is a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Taking Care of Your Child’s Oral Health at Home
Habits that get introduced early on in life tend to stick. So beginning a good oral hygiene regime for your child as early as possible is key to a life of good oral health.
Here are some tips from our dentists on how to best care for your kid’s teeth and gums at home:
- Before their teeth start coming through, use a clean damp cloth to gently wipe their gums.
- When they have their first tooth, brushing can begin with a suitable toothbrush for young children and from 18 months old, a very small amount of children’s toothpaste.
- We recommend that you avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle. This promotes tooth decay, often referred to as, ‘baby bottle tooth decay’.
- Your child will need your help with tooth brushing to do an effective job until they are around 7 or 8. After this time, brushing and flossing should still be supervised until they are totally capable.
- Ensure your child consumes a well-balanced diet with adequate water intake. Limit sweets, sweetened drinks and other treats. This will help protect your child’s vulnerable enamel from decay.
The Australian Government has introduced a scheme to improve the dental health of eligible children (aged 2 to 17 years) through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). Eligible children can access $1,013 in Government benefits on selective dental care services over two years.
Kids’ Dental FAQs
Our friendly front desk team is more than happy to answer questions about kids’ dental. For quick reference, here are the answers to some questions about kids’ dental that we commonly get asked:
When should my child have their first dental visit?
A good rule to go by is to ensure your child has their first dental visit by their first birthday. Having your child visit the dentist for the first time when their first tooth appears (or within a few months of this) is ideal for preventing dental problems.
Are dental X-rays safe for children?
Modern dental x-rays produce a very small amount of radiation. Even so, our dentists continue to take extra special care to minimise exposure when it comes to kids’ dental x-rays. There is less risk associated with the levels of radiation from an X-ray than there is with undiagnosed dental problems.
My child is teething – what can I do to ease their discomfort?
It’s normal for your child to experience some discomfort when their teeth begin to come through. Thankfully, there are several methods of providing relief for your child. There are many teething devices such as teething biscuits or frozen teething rings. Pharmacies can advise you on appropriate teething medications that can be topically applied to their gums.
Does a cavity in a baby tooth need filling?
Even though baby teeth are temporary, they are essential for many reasons. They help your child eat and speak, but also make space for their future permanent teeth. Therefore, preserving your child’s baby teeth until they are naturally ready to fall out is ideal. Tooth decay can spread through a baby tooth quickly. This is due to the enamel on baby teeth being far thinner than on adult teeth. Our dentists recommend dental fillings for kids where it is necessary to prevent further damage.
Is my child getting enough fluoride?
Fluoride is shown to help with strengthening the enamel on our teeth which prevents cavities. This is true for children and adults, alike. It’s essential for your child to use a fluoride-based toothpaste. Fluoride is also added to our tap water supply in small doses. So, ensuring your child has enough water intake is a good way of boosting their fluoride levels.