It’s never too early to begin teaching children good oral hygiene.
What do we do?
Behaviours learnt when they’re young tend to stick with them throughout life
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:
Diet – Parents should provide children with a nourishing, well-balanced diet. Very sugary diets should be modified and continuous snacking should be discouraged. Leftover sugar particles in your child’s mouth after eating foods with containing sugar emit harmful acids that erode tooth enamel, gum tissue and bone. Space out snacks when possible, and provide the child with non-sugary alternatives like celery sticks, carrot sticks and rolled wheat cereals.
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 minimise 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 remineralisation 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.
Most major health funds accepted
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99 Cotham Road,
Kew VIC 3101
03 9817 3685
Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Sat - Sun: Closed