Your child’s oral health; the three most common questions answered!
Keeping your child’s health on track can be exhausting!
There are so many medical checks that are required these days, it’s hard to keep on top of it all. Often the teeth and mouth can be set aside if you are worried about your child’s hearing or eyesight, or making sure they are up to date with their vaccinations.
If you’ve ever worried about your child’s teeth or if they may have problems with their teeth in the future, then this article is for you.
“Nearly one quarter (24.8%) of children aged under 12 years had untreated decay and nearly half of all children under the age of 12 have experienced tooth decay”. (Australian Institute of Health)
If left undetected and treated, poor oral health in children can lead to:
Cavities and tooth ache.
Poor sleep due to pain or discomfort, leading to poor outcomes at school.
Dental infections that can be serious and lead to hospitalisation.
When you know your child is being cared for by a professional, who is passionate about helping them have healthy strong teeth and gums, you can be assured you are doing everything to ensure they are going to have the best start in life with the following immediate results:
You know your child can eat and drink free from pain.
They sleep well and will be fresh for school each day.
They are confident and happy during dental visits, which is less stressful for everyone.
As there is so much misinformation out there these days, it’s critical that you get the best possible information about how to care for your child’s teeth.
If you’ve ever wanted to ensure you are taking the right steps to get your child off to the right start with their dental health, here are some frequently asked questions for you-
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
It is recommended that you take your child to the dentist once their first teeth have come through, after the age of one. This helps you to build a relationship with your dentist and oral health therapist, ask any questions you may have and receive advice on feeding your child and looking after their teeth.
Their teeth aren’t hurting so there’s nothing wrong is there?
Sadly, decay happens below the surface and cavities only appear once the decay has advanced quite far into the tooth. Don’t wait for your child to experience pain before you take them to the dentist. You want them to know, like and trust their dental professional; this way visits are relaxed and a positive experience for you and your child.
They don’t like brushing - HELP!
Brushing can be a battle ground! Try to make it fun; use an egg timer to time brushing or download a tooth-brushing app that plays a song to brush to. You could also try an electric toothbrush as this may make it seem like less hard work.
My dentist has recommended sealants for my child’s teeth; what are they and are they worth it?
Fissure sealants are a plastic material that is painted onto the biting surface of back teeth to seal off the tiny grooves. This way germs and food cannot build up in the groove and cause tooth decay. Sealants reduce the risk of needing a filling in the future and are approximately one third of the cost of a filling. They are quick and easy to do, after cleaning the tooth thoroughly, they are painted on just like painting on nail varnish.
If these questions resonated with you, what can you do?
Your dentist or oral health professional is an essential member of your family’s health management team. They have the knowledge and expertise to identify problems which may develop in your child’s mouth. They will then work with you to prevent problems arising in the future.
Seeing them regularly builds a great ongoing relationship with someone you can trust. They then support and motivate you to maintain good dietary and health habits, helping you stay on track.