Children and their teeth
Around the start of kindergarten children start to loose their baby teeth. This is a really exciting time for children as it will be their first experience of the tooth fairy.
Around 6 years old your child’s permanent first molars often erupt. This can be a painful experience as these teeth are erupting for the first time.
Hopefully you’ve established a great oral health routine by the time your child starts school. It is important to keep an eye out for those 6 year old molars as it will mean an adjustment in your brushing. Children at this age will want to be in charge of brushing. However, we recommend that you continue to brush their teeth until they are at least 8 years old. The reason for this is that they are not proficient at brushing. There is also concerns that they don’t get to the back teeth.
Those baby teeth are just as important as the adult ones. Not only because you should start in the way in which you intend to proceed. By creating good habits now it will make it easier in later life. It is also important to prevent decay as this can cause problems for the adult teeth as they emerge.
Flossing should start as soon as there are teeth that touch. This is just as important for adults as children. Little bits of food can get trapped between your teeth which normal brushing will not remove.
Tooth decay is the major reason that children miss school. The Australian Dental Association research states that in Australia, over 16,000 kids under 15 years of age require treatment under general anaesthesia EVERY year to fix dental problems. In fact, it’s the #1 cause of preventable hospitalisations in the 5-9 year age group – more than asthma!
Decay is a preventable disease caused by a combination of high sugar diet and inadequate oral care – also complicated by other socio-economic factors. Kids who have regular check-ups can benefit from catching small problems before they become serious.
This doesn’t mean that you should be scared. What it does mean is that oral health is a serious issue that, as a parent, requires your attention on a daily basis. If you are unsure what to do or have concerns about your child’s teeth….seek help. All our dentists are great with children. They speak to the child in an age appropriate way to help educate them about their teeth.
Regular dentist visits
The best way to know if your child’s teeth are being looked after is to have them checked regularly. Prevention is absolutely the best treatment, this is true for everyone but particularly children.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is a Medicare-funded dental program for children whose families receive Family Tax Benefits A and some other eligible Benefits. These children are entitled to up to $1000 of dental treatment over two calendar years to help stop this cycle of poor oral health.