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Children's Dentistry

 Care for your children's oral health has two main components: preventative care at Kew Dental and preventative care at home.  Though infant and toddler tooth decay have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, a good dental strategy will help to eradicate the risk of both.

The goal of preventative oral care is to evaluate and preserve the health of the child’s teeth.  Beginning at the age of twelve months, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children begin to visit the dentist for “baby” checkups.  In general, most children should continue to visit every six months, unless instructed otherwise. 

  

Kew Dental - Childrens Dentistry

  

 How can Kew Dental care for my child’s teeth? 

 

Dr. Michael McIntyre will examine the teeth for signs of early decay, monitor orthodontic concerns, track jaw and tooth development and provide the best conservative advice for parents.  In addition, there are several treatments options available to further reduce the child’s risk for dental problems, such as topical fluoride and fissure sealants.

During a routine visit to Kew Dental your child’s mouth will be fully examined; the teeth may be professionally cleaned; topical fluoride might be coated onto the teeth to protect tooth enamel, and any parental concerns can be addressed.  Dr. Michael McIntyre can demonstrate good brushing and flossing techniques with Fred the dinosaur, advise parents on dietary issues, provide strategies for thumb sucking and communicate with the child on his or her level.

  

When molars emerge (usually between the ages of two and three), Dr. Michael McIntyre may coat them with fissure sealant.  This sealant covers the hard-to-reach fissures on the molars, sealing out bacteria, food particles and acid.  Dental sealant may last for many months or many years, depending on the oral habits of your child.  Fissure sealants are an important tool in the fight against tooth decay.

 

How can I help at home? 

 

Though most parents primarily think of brushing and flossing when they hear the words “oral care,” good preventative care includes many more factors, such as:

 

Oral habits – Though thumb sucking generally reduces over time, both can cause the teeth to misalign.  If the child must use a dummy, choose an “orthodontically” correct model.  This will minimize the risk of developmental problems like narrow roof arches and crowding.  Dr. Michael McIntyre can suggest a strategy (or provide a dental appliance) for reducing thumb sucking.

  

General oral hygiene –  Parents commonly share eating utensils with the child.  By performing these acts, parents transfer harmful oral bacteria to their child, increasing the risk of early cavities and tooth decay.  Instead, avoid spoon-sharing whenever possible.

  

Brushing – Children’s teeth should be brushed a minimum of two times per day using a soft bristled brush and a pea-sized amount of children's toothpaste.  Parents should help with the brushing process until the child reaches the age of around seven and is capable of reaching all areas of the mouth on their own.  Parents should always opt for ADA approved toothpaste (non-fluoridated before the age of two, and fluoridated thereafter).  For babies, parents should rub the gum area with a clean cloth after each feeding.

  

Flossing – Cavities and tooth decay form more easily between teeth.  Therefore, your child is at risk of between-teeth cavities wherever two teeth grow adjacent to each other.  Dr. Michael McIntyre can help demonstrate a correct flossing technique.

  

Fluoride – Fluoride helps prevent mineral loss and simultaneously promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel.  Too much fluoride can result in fluorosis, a condition where white specks appear on the permanent teeth, and too little can result in tooth decay.  It is important to get the fluoride balance correct.

  

If you have questions or concerns about how to care for your child’s teeth, contact the friendly team at Kew Dental on (03) 9827 3685.