As young children are very impressionable, a traumatic dental experience can have very negative long term consequences.
Our team at Sara Couch and Associates will always do their best to create a warm and friendly atmosphere. They want to make your children’s visit to our dentist a fun experience that they will be happy to repeat.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
A child’s first tooth typically erupts around the age of 6 months and all their baby teeth are usually present by the age of 3 years.
Why baby teeth are important
- They allow your child to chew solid foods
- They assist with the ideal eruption of adult teeth
- They assist with speech
Good oral hygiene is imperative to maintain the health of their baby teeth and ultimately improve their quality of life.
When should your child visit our childrens dentist?
- We encourage your child to visit our childrens dentist when they are very young
- We encourage 6 monthly check-ups from an early age
- At your child’s first check-up, we will examine the health of their baby teeth and educate them about correct brushing techniques to ensure optimal oral health
The cycle of baby to adult teeth
- The first permanent molar erupts behind the last primary tooth at around the age of 6 or 7
- The second molars erupt behind this tooth at the ages of 11 to 12
What are Fissure Sealants?
The permanent molars have deep grooves (dentists call these “fissures”). These fissures can be so deep, that it can be difficult for toothbrush bristles to reach in and clean these areas. As a result these grooves are the area most vulnerable to developing decay.
How does a Fissure Sealant work?
The risk of decay in the molar teeth can be very effectively reduced by placing a fissure sealant.
- The surface of the tooth is carefully cleaned and dried then a layer of tooth coloured resin is flowed into the deep grooves
- This coating bonds to the enamel and prevents plaque bacteria from getting in
- Many dental sealant materials release very tiny amounts of fluoride which is absorbed by the enamel and further strengthens the tooth
This process is painless and children generally tolerate it very well. In fact, it can provide a good introduction to dental procedures.
Ideally fissure sealants should be placed soon after the molars appear in the mouth; Around 6 years old for the first molars and 11 to 12 years old for the second molars.
Why wear a mouthguard?
We believe that playing sport is of great benefit to a child’s development and fitness. However, contact sports do carry the risk of head injury and dental trauma. The upper front permanent teeth in particular are very vulnerable to injury in a child’s mouth. Damage to these teeth at an early age can have devastating long term consequences.
A professionally made, well-fitting mouthguard is essential for all contact sports. Many responsible coaches will not allow players to take the field unless they are wearing a mouthguard.
Why we recommend custom mouthguards:
- They offer significantly better protection than “boil and bite” mouthguards from the chemist
- They are more comfortable
- They make it easier to breathe
- They make it easier to speak
- They are more likely to stay in place during an impact
Diet and Dental disease
Decay is caused when plaque bacteria turn sugars in food into acids which start to dissolve the enamel layer. For this reason it is important to monitor the quantity and frequency of sugar in children’s diets.
Infants and toddlers who go to bed with a bottle containing milk or juice can develop tooth decay at a young age. This can be quite devastating for the primary dentition. Such problems are often so difficult to treat in young children, that many require treatment under a general anaesthetic.
In older children and young adults, excessive consumption of fruit juices, soft drink and sports drinks, all of which are very acidic, may also cause erosion of the enamel.
This effectively causes “premature aging“ of the teeth as they wear down at a rapid rate and is particularly difficult to deal with later in life.
For all of these reasons, it is very important that you bring your family to a childrens dentist from a very early age.Call us today to make an appointment.