At Drummoyne Dental Practice, our dentists believe that children should develop good dental hygiene habits from a young age. If children start young, visit the dentist regularly and maintain their teeth throughout their early lives, they will have far less issues in the future.
First visit to the dentist
A common question we hear asked by most parents is “When should I bring my child in for their first dental visit?”
A child should be brought in for their first visit when their baby teeth start to erupt somewhere between the ages of 1 to 2 years old. Dental decay can occur in children as young at 1 year old. For example, nursing decay can result from allowing a baby to suck on a bottle of milk or sweetened juice or honey for long periods through the day or night.
At their first dental visit, the dentist will look at the number and alignment of baby teeth present, any discolouration or signs of decay and plaque levels. The first visit is a chance for parents to learn about their child’s dental health and allows discussion of how to care for an infants mouth, proper use of fluoride, oral habits (eg. thumb sucking, tongue thrusting), teething and diet.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
We have nitrous oxide available at the clinic (with a range of flavours/smells) to help younger children relax if they are a little nervous about treatment. It helps to ease pain and anxiety. The gas is short acting. This means that it's effects wear off quickly once the gas has been switched off, so your child can quickly get back to their usual activities.
If dental crowding is noted in a young child, a removable plate can be used to expand the dental arches or maintain premolar spaces so as to avoid the need for dental extractions later on. Orthodontic fixed braces may follow. Early intervention care is usually achieved initially with simple removable plates. Treatment is often continued until all the teeth have erupted, and fixed braces are then utilised to complete the dental alignment.
Every year, thousands of children are treated for dental injuries, which could have been prevented, or the severity minimised, by wearing a protective sports mouthguard. Anyone who participates in a sport that carries risk of contact to the face (eg football, boxing) should wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard helps absorb the shock experienced by a blow to the face, which might otherwise result in an injury to the mouth or jaw.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that only a professionally custom-fitted mouthguard should be worn. The ADA recommends that self-fitted, over the counter mouthguards are inadequate and, for effective protection, a professionally-fitted custom mouthguard is essential. The lifetime cost of a dental injury justifies the expense of good protection to prevent the injury in the first place.
Child Dental Benefits Schedule accepted at Drummoyne Dental Practice
The Child Dental Benefit Schedule is a Government scheme to provide Financial support for basic dental services for children aged 2–17. In 2014, benefits for basic dental services are capped at $1,000 per child over 2 consecutive calendar years. If you do not use all of your $1,000 benefit in the first year of eligibility, you can use it in the second year if you are still eligible. Any remaining balance will not be carried forward at the end of the second year. Benefits will cover a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. Benefits are not available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and cannot be paid for any services provided in a hospital. Benefits cannot be transferred between family members.