Children’s Dentistry – what needs to be done when?

Children’s Dentistry – what needs to be done when?

Tooth decay is the most common and widespread childhood disease. It is at epidemic levels amongst children making children’s dentistry a priority.It is recommended that the first dental visit occurs within six months of the first tooth erupting or by a child’s first birthday.

The first dental exam

The first dental examination should be undertaken within six months of the first tooth erupting or by a child’s first birthday. This examination enables the children’s dentist to provide preventive care information to parents as the baby’s new teeth grow. The dentist can discuss proper cleaning and hygiene so that a dental care routine for the child can be established to promote the growth and maintenance of strong, healthy teeth without cavities. Attention to children’s dentistry can lead to the avoidance of dental problems later in life.

Follow-up examinations

Baby teeth or ‘primary teeth’ help your child’s development. These teeth are required for learning to chew and speak properly and they also hold space in the gums for permanent teeth. The average child has a set of 20 primary teeth by the age of two to three years.

Follow up children’s dentistry visits should be made once per year to ensure that each baby tooth comes in properly and that there is no crowding. The children’s dentist can assess any malformation and ensure the proper entrance of the permanent teeth.

At age three, if there is a tooth still within the gum and eruption is not assured, the dentist will advise of dental options to correct the problem, prevent pain and alleviate future problems.

As children reach the age when they have a full set of teeth and there is an indication of the need for braces, the dentist will advise parents on options that may be required in the future to straighten the teeth.

Preventing cavities requires a proper diet and dental hygiene routine

One of the benefits of having your child attend children’s dentistry visits is establishing the importance of dentistry in the eyes of the child. The dentist will discuss with you and your child the importance of a proper diet and dental hygiene routine at home. Compliance with dietary recommendations and a dental hygiene routine can often be enhanced when a child has been instructed by their dentist.