As parents, it’s important to guide you children towards good dental health from an early age.
We recommend children attend for a familiarisation visit at 12-18 months.
We recommend to start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they erupt, so that it becomes a part of their everyday routine -kids love routine! Brush gently with a soft bristled baby toothbrush and a tiny amount of low fluoride toothpaste, twice a day after breakfast and before bedtime.
The other key aspect to prevention of tooth decay in children is their diet. Many people are unaware that tooth decay is caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria on and in between our teeth use the sugar and carbohydrates that we eat and convert it to acid. The acid is what damages the teeth to cause a cavity in the tooth.
Many children love sweet foods and with our modern diet, hidden sugar and carbs are in many everyday foods that may appear to be healthy. Examples include – juice, fruit, muesli bars,breakfast cereals,yoghurt. Sugar is also prevalent in cordials,sports drinks and soft drinks and these should be limited to very rare treats. Water and milk are the two best drinks for children.Cheese is a good snack as it helps reverse tooth decay. Vegetable sticks eg carrots, cucumber are also very good snacks for kids.
Babies and toddlers should never sleep with a bottle of milk or juice as the prolonged contact with the teeth can cause extensive tooth decay.
Prevention of tooth decay in childhood is very important for long-term oral health. Although baby teeth are designed to be lost, losing a tooth before the adult tooth is ready to erupt can lead to a loss of space for the adult teeth and can cause crowding issues, which may lead to orthodontic care that otherwise may have been avoided.
Treatments we provide for children are:
Examinations, Cleanings, Oral Hygiene instruction and Dietary advice
We spend time with all of our young patients during an examination and cleaning appointment to educate them towards developing life long oral care habits and the importance of good oral hygeine in helping them look after their dental health.
Fluoride is very important for teeth as it can be absorbed into the immature tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to decay. Fluoride is one of the most beneficial elements for children’s developing teeth and maintaining the health of adult teeth. We apply fluoride to childrens teeth after a cleaning and polishing appointment.
Fluoride can also be used to help reverse initial damage caused by dental decay in a process called remineralisation, provided the dental decay is picked up early enough.
We recommend children under 6 years use a dedicated children’s toothpaste which has a reduced amount of fluoride. This is because young children may swallow the toothpaste and when combined with fluoride in the water supply, they may be getting more than the optimum level of fluoride. Like many things in life too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Excess intake of fluoride can cause a condition called fluorosis and prevention with a reduced strength fluoride toothpaste in young children is the easiest way to get the tooth protective benefits of fluoride without any unwanted, negative cosmetic effects .
We often recommend using a natural antidecay product called Xylitol. Xylitol has been shown to reduce decay experience from 30-70% in many scientific studies. Xylitol works to reduce tooth decay because the bacteria that cause tooth decay cannot process Xylitol if they ingest it -this causes these harmful bacteria to swell up and die. If you or your children are at higher risk of tooth decay you can use Xylitol toothpaste,rinse,mint or gum –click here for more information.
Xylitol is a natural sugar and in fact a sugar that we produce in our own bodies and is an effective way for people seeking an all natural method of decay reduction.
Tooth mousse is a product that has taken the beneficial activated calcium from milk. It is suitable for reversing early tooth decay, hypocalcified teeth( teeth that have developed with weaker enamel), in cases of acid reflux and erosion , during orthodontic treatment and in improving the appearance of whitespots on teeth. Click here for more information.
Fissure sealants have been used since the early 70’s and are a simple, yet effective preventive treatment against tooth decay. Tooth decay can develop on the chewing surface of baby and adult molars due to deep grooves and fissures .These fissures are normal and present on most molar teeth. The size of the fissures is different for all individuals and often vary within the same person’s mouth. Because of the shape and depth of the fissures ,food and bacteria become trapped in these areas. A cavity can easily occur because brushing and fluoride are not effective protection against cavities in these areas. Commonly the fissure actually penetrates below the surface of the tooth. Click here for a photo of a deeply fissured tooth.
Only sealants are effective protection against decay of these surfaces because they fill in these areas and prevent bacteria or food from entering these areas. The sealant is a liquid resin that sets rock hard after it is applied to the tooth and cured. Sealant therapy is non-invasive and doesn’t require any anaesthetic.
If your child participates in a contact sport, they should wear a mouthguard. At least 50 % of children have damaged at least one of their front teeth by 13 years of age through accidents and sporting injuries. Dental injuries are the most common type of oral facial injury sustained in sports.
Our dentists can make a custom fitted double laminated mouth guard that offers far more protection and comfort and fit than over the counter mouthguards. We provide mouthguards for health insurance rebate only for our young patients, so our mouthguards are free of charge for anyone with health insurance. This will provide your child with a fantastic well fitting guard in a choice of colours which is much better than paying to buy a poorly fitting mouthguard for them from the chemist or sports store.
It is important that children get in the habit of wearing their mouthguard at training as well as at games, as many injuries also occur on the training track.
At Whitesmile Dental Care Dr Christophers has significant experience in treating children -he has 5 children of his own! The television on the ceiling is a great distractor with ABC 2 or 3 being firm favourites with our young patients. We also have a variety of movies available on Netflix. We are getting a little over “Let it Go” from Frozen however the kids love it!
In the unfortunate event any restorations are required, we use only white resin based fillings to repair any active decay or tooth fractures.