Throughout our lives, our dental needs change and evolve. This is most evident when we are children. It is at this stage that our teeth, gums and jaw grow and develop. The way we care for our teeth during this time, can have a lasting effect on our oral health for the rest of our lives.
Here at HR Hocking Dental Surgery, we understand that visiting the dentist can be a new and sometimes anxious experience for little ones. That's why we aim to make the experience as easy and fun as possible, in our caring and friendly practice. In order to avoid any anxiety, we suggest that you begin to bring your child for their first dental check-up by the age of three. By starting early, your child is able to familiarise themselves with the experience, before further dental treatment is required. We encourage parents to ask any questions that they have, about looking after their child’s teeth.
Your child’s dental appointments will initially involve their dentist assessing their teeth and gums, to ensure that everything is normal. The dentist will also look for any issues that may arise in the future. In addition to the check-up, your child’s teeth with also be professionally cleaned and have a fluoride treatment applied.
Between the ages of 10 to 12 years, we will often recommend an orthodontic assessment to be done. While most children do not require orthodontic treatment until their early teens, an early assessment allows us to detect any skeletal issues that may need to be treated. HR Hocking Dental Surgery can refer you to an Orthodontist, if needed.
From the age of 16 years, we will start to x-ray your child's teeth to help detect any cavities that may have formed between the teeth.
In addition to bringing your child for regular dental visits, here are some tips to help maintain their oral health:
- Brush your child’s teeth and gums with a soft bristled toothbrush morning and night. Initially, you only need to brush their teeth with water. Once they reach 18 months of age, you can introduce a pea-sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste.
- Teach your child how to brush their own teeth, using small circular motions. It is suggested that you assist the process until they are eight years old.
- Once your child’s teeth have fully erupted, you need to begin flossing their teeth gently every day.
- Limit sugary or acidic foods and drinks
- Discourage thumb-sucking habits or dummy use once their teeth have erupted, to avoid any risk of tooth misalignment or protrusion.
- We do not recommend sending your child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. There is a risk that prolonged exposure may provide an opportunity for bacteria to build up and cause tooth decay.
- Do not put your child’s dummy, bottle or cutlery into your mouth. It is also important not to share your toothbrush, as this can transfer bacteria from your mouth, to theirs.
If your child is ready for their first dental visit, or you have any questions about your child’s oral health, please call us on 9534 3481.