Baby teeth fall out, do children need to see a dentist?
At Red Hill Dental Practice we really enjoy seeing children and getting them excited about their oral health.
Teaching children good dental habits from an early age is vitally important. These habits can last well into adulthood, giving them a great head start in caring for their teeth and a positive attitude towards oral health and dental appointments.
Baby tooth care
Once your child’s teeth begin erupting (emerging), you can begin cleaning them by wiping them with a moist washcloth. As your child gets more teeth, you can begin to use a soft child’s toothbrush. You should use just a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste or a non-fluoride toothpaste until your child is able to spit it out.
Your child’s first teeth will usually start erupting around six months, although it is not uncommon to have them start as early as 3 months or as late as 18 months.
The two bottom front teeth will be the first to come through followed by the four upper teeth.
Your child will continue to get new teeth until they have all twenty of their deciduous (baby) teeth up until they are three years old, with most children getting about four new teeth every four months. Children begin losing their first teeth when they are around 6-7 years old, and this process is complete with the loss of the second molars around 11-13 years old.
In addition to looking for and preventing problems, an early visit to the dentist can help advise you about your child’s oral health and correct hygiene.
If your child has any problems such as, crowding or abnormal tooth development, or if they have any risk factors for developing cavities, then this is the time it will be diagnosed. You may also want to visit us at Red Hill Dental Practice if your child has any persistent habits, such as sucking their thumb or using a pacifier/soother as a toddler or grinding their teeth at night (bruxism).
Monitoring the types of food your Children snack on:
The foods your children snack on should be closely monitored.
Biscuits and sweets tend to adhere to the teeth for a long period after snacking. If not cleaned straight away the sugar in these snacks will feed the bacteria, which will eventually cause decay. If you are to give your children snacks we recommend fresh fruit and vegetables; carrots are a great snack as is cheese.
Factors to consider when protecting your child’s teeth from sugar:
- Ensure your child is drinking water between snacks to keep the mouth moist as a dry mouth is less protected from bacteria and acid
- Eat sweets at the completion of a meal and not between meals.
Bottled water and fluoride
Bottled water and water filters might not contain, or have removed fluoride. If you have any doubt, check the label bottle or filter manufacturer as it is in general better to have your child drink water that is supplemented with fluoride instead of giving extra fluoride drops or supplements.
Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which is a permanent white to brown discolouration of the teeth. It is easier to get fluorosis if you are giving your child fluoride drops and they are still getting fluoride from their diet.
Full oral examinations
Even though your child’s baby teeth will fall out naturally, early tooth loss due to decay can mean their adult teeth emerge crooked, or cause gum problems or jaw misalignment. This can then lead to expensive future treatment such as orthodontics.
That’s why we recommend regular checkups for your child at Red Hill Dental Practice from their first birthday. This allows us to monitor your child’s oral development, check their teeth for signs of decay and give you advice on oral care at home. It will also make them feel more at ease at future dental appointments as they will be familiar with the sights and sounds of our dental practice.
This is a branch of Dentistry that specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating the misalignment or malocclusion (bite) of the teeth and jaws.
We use corrective appliances such as braces, plates, headgear, and functional appliances to bring your teeth and jaws back into alignment.
Early examination will allow us to detect any problems and plan appropriate treatment. Orthodontic problems can be apparent from the age of three when most of the adult front teeth have erupted.
At our office, we monitor a child’s dental development from their very first appointment. With every appointment afterward, we check children against developmental norms to ensure they have a healthy adult smile. Sometimes, we may recommend orthodontic treatments when we need to achieve specific results after the face and jaw stop growing.
Orthodontics for Adults is becoming more popular, even though the bones have stopped growing.
Tooth decay can easily start to form undetected in the microscopic pits and fissures of your child’s back molars. Because brushing cannot totally reach into these tiny areas, food and bacteria can easily become trapped and lead to cavities.
To prevent this, from around the age of six or seven we can apply liquid fissure sealants to fill in these vulnerable areas. Filling and smoothing the tiny imperfections, fissure sealants form an effective barrier against plaque, making teeth easier to clean and helping prevent tooth decay.
Application of fissure sealant is a very simple, pain-free procedure that only takes a few minutes for each tooth and will last for several years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it so important to bring your child for a dental check-up?
At Red Hill Dental Practice, we believe in healthy, happy children with beautiful smiles. We enjoy seeing children and getting them excited about their oral health. We follow the Australian Dental Association guidelines, which recommend dental check-ups from age two. However, if you have concerns, we will happily see them at a younger age.
Teaching children good dental habits from an early age is vitally important. Thanks to these habits, they will have an impressive head start in taking care of their teeth and a favourable outlook on oral health and dental visits, which are carried over well into adulthood.
In addition to looking for and preventing problems, an early visit to the dentist can help advise you about your child’s oral health, correct hygiene practices and monitor the growth of their jaws.
Growth and Development
Children’s dental and maxillofacial growth and development need to be closely monitored. From your child’s first visit, we not only assist in forming positive dental habits but commence closely tracking their individual progress against the range of expected norms. Developmental and growth issues such as dental crowding, jaw misalignment, and impacted teeth can be most effectively dealt with when diagnosed early. We provide a full range of treatment options, including orthodontics, to help address any concerns.
Oral health balance and decay
You can start cleaning your child’s teeth by wiping them with a moist washcloth when their teeth begin to erupt. Switching to a soft children’s toothbrush is recommended when your child continues to develop more teeth. Until your child has properly learned to spit out toothpaste after use, using a pea-size amount of children’s toothpaste (low-fluoride) is best. We would recommend an electric toothbrush once your child reaches school age.
The foods your children eat should be closely monitored.
Nearly all processed foods have added sugar, even those deemed to be savoury. If not cleaned straight away, the sugar in these foods will feed the bacteria, upsetting the natural balance of bacteria in the mouth, which will eventually cause decay. A high-fibre, low-sugar diet is the best for ideal growth and development with healthy teeth. So lots of raw vegetables and some fruit!
Ensure your child drinks plenty of water to keep the mouth moist, as a dry mouth is less protected from bacteria and acid. No sugary drinks. If your child is breathing through their mouth rather than their nose, the mouth can also become dry. Mouth breathing will significantly increase their risk of decay. If this is the case, please see us at the practice.
We recommend using a low-fluoride children’s toothpaste from the age of two until you are confident they can spit it out after use.
Tank, bottled, and filtered water might not contain or have removed fluoride. If you are concerned about a lack of fluoride for your child, please mention this at your appointment.
However, too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, a permanent white-to-brown discolouration of the teeth. It is easier to get fluorosis if you are giving your child fluoride drops and they are still getting fluoride from their diet.
If you would like to discuss any of the above, please contact us at (03) 5907 5942 for an appointment.