At Dentists of Ivanhoe Central, we take the privilege of caring for your children’s teeth very seriously. It’s important to teach them about the importance of taking care of their teeth with good hygiene and preventative care as well as provide a good experience so that they’ll enjoy future visits to your local kid’s dentist.
Children’s Dental Care Near Ivanhoe VIC
Children’s dental care is quite different from adult dental care, with the variables including age, cognitive development and personality type.
Some quick facts about your child’s teeth:
- Children’s teeth begin forming before birth.
- The first baby teeth start to appear when they are around 6 months old.
- By the age of 2-3, they’ll have all 20 of their primary teeth.
- Most dental problems in children are easily preventable. Prevention is always better than fixing the problem later on.
Many parents are confused about what and how much dental care their child needs. Preventing cavities is usually at the top of their list, but it’s not always clear how best to go about this. We’ll provide you as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision when choosing a kid-friendly dentist.
When Should my Child First See a Dentist?
We encourage all children to start their 6-monthly visits around the age of 2. If you haven’t already done so, it’s not too late to start. For further reading, the Australasian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry makes some recommendations about a child’s first dental visit.
Choosing a Child-friendly Practice
If the environment is not familiar to kids, they’ll feel a little anxious. They expect to see toys and books that they’re used to seeing at home. That’s why we have an area with kid friendly activities to make them feel a little more at ease.
You can bring your pram into the practice, and not have to worry about it not fitting through the door or leaving it in your car.
Some dentists receive special training on dealing with young kids, so you’ll want to check with the dental clinic what sort of training they’ve received (both staff and doctors) to ensure the smoothest possible experience for your child.
Our staff at Dentists of Ivanhoe Central have received training to be able to examine and treat most issues with children’s teeth. (Note, for major issues or complications, we will refer you to a paediatric dental specialist.)
Scared of Visiting the Dentist? Before Their First Appointment
The last thing you want to happen is that your child is scared of going to the dentist. That can only lead to poor dental health in years to come. We strive to make all of their visits a fun and enjoyable experience. That way, they look forward to coming to the dentist and keep their teeth in the best possible shape.
One way of introducing them to the dentist at a young age is by taking them with you to your own dental appointments and let them see mummy or daddy get their teeth checked. When they see you have a pleasant experience, they’ll anticipate the same and helps to prevent any future anxiety relating to a visit to the dentist.
First Visit to the Dentist
The big day is here! Make this an exciting experience for your child! Here are some tips:
- Arrive early so that your child can get introduced to our staff and the environment.
- Have them sit in the play area.
- For toddlers, during the exam, it may be a good idea to hold them in your lap.
- For older kids, stay in the same room so that they are comfortable knowing you are close by.
- The first exam is pretty basic – counting the teeth and making sure all teeth are in good condition. The main goal is to introduce dentistry to your child and develop trust and confidence.
- Praise you child for completing the exam and thank the doctor. Kids take a lot of cues from their parents – they copy what you do – good and bad!
Who Will Treat My Child?
Your child will most likely be seen by one of our dental therapists on their first visit. Our therapists have been specifically trained in children’s dentistry and are passionate about caring for children and ensuring that their first visit is enjoyable and fun. One of our dentists will probably pop in and say hello.
Your therapist will examine your child’s teeth and if they find any serious issues we will refer you to a specialist paediatric dentist.
Costs for a Children’s Visit to the Dentist
As a parent, you may have concerns about the cost of dental treatment for your kids. You already know the importance of giving your children the best possible oral health from an early age, but the question of pricing always come up.
At Dentists of Ivanhoe Central, we do offer financing for major dental treatments for patients of all ages. You can read more about that on our financing page. However, the Australian Government has made a scheme available to help pay for your child’s trip to the dentist.
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)
The Australian Government (Medicare) has a dental scheme called Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), which provides benefits for basic dental services to children aged 2-17 years. It provides the following benefits:
- $1,000 of benefit over two calendar years.
- Preventive treatments such as check-up and clean, X Rays, fluoride treatment, and fissure sealants.
Child Dental Benefits Scheme Eligibility
Not everyone is eligible for these benefits. Below are some of the requirements. More details can be found here.
- If the family receives Family Tax Benefit Part A or other Australian Government payments such as Carer Payment,Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment or Youth Allowance.
- The child is between 2 and 17
If you’re not sure if your child has these benefits, ask our staff, and we’ll be more than happy to check.
Many of our patients take advantage of bulk billing to help lower their out-of-pocket costs. If you are able to participate in CBDS, we will bulk bill on your behalf, which usually means you will have no out-of-pocket expenses. The best of both worlds – you see a wonderful kid-friendly dentist, and it won’t cost you anything!
Maintaining Good Oral Health for your Kids
As a parent, your involvement in your child’s oral hygiene will play a massive part in the future of their oral health as they develop good oral care habits. You can help by:
- Showing them tips on cleaning their teeth.
- How to properly use a toothbrush.
- Brush teeth for an average of two minutes.
- Replace your child’s toothbrush every three months.
- Limit their sugar intake.
- Making sure they get enough fluoride, either through drinking water or supplements.
- Supervise brushing sessions, which can be a challenge for small hands.
- Involve the whole family. Brushing together at the same time each day creates a good habit.
Care of Baby Teeth
Very early teeth still need some form of hygiene care. Here are a few tips:
- After feeding, gently wipe their gums with water using gauze or even a soft clean washcloth.
- When your baby goes to bed, give them a bottle of water rather than juice or milk.
- When their first teeth start to appear, gently brush their teeth with a soft kid’s toothbrush. They’ll notice mummy and daddy brushing their teeth twice a day (we hope!), so they’ll want to be included as well.
- Many small kids suck their thumb, and it is something to watch out for because thumb sucking when their permanent teeth start to grow in (around 4 years old) might cause some issues.
Tips for Kids in Primary School
- Kids love sweets – the manufacturers make sure of that, and sometimes it’s an ongoing challenge to steer them towards a tooth-healthy snack. You can do your part by giving your children healthy snack options, like carrots and other fresh vegetables.
- Certain antibiotics (such as Tetracycline) may stain teeth. Please ask your paediatrician about any side effects before they prescribe any medication. Let us know of any medications your child is taking.
Children’s Dentistry – Preventing Decay with Fissure Sealants
Most tooth decay starts on the chewing surface of the back teeth because those surfaces contain grooves that are a bit difficult to clean. This allows food to be trapped and bacteria to grow, which can lead to decay. Dental fissure sealants can help prevent decay.
Facts about sealants:
- It’s a thin coating of resin that is placed over the tooth to cover deep grooves and fissures to help prevent accumulation of plaque.
- It’s a painless procedure, performed in one visit..
- Initially applied around the age of 6-7 years old (once the first permanent molars have fully erupted)
- Reapplied around the age of 12-14 years when the adult teeth start to erupt.
- Fissure sealants can also be effective for adults.
Family Dentist or a Paediatric Dentist?
A paediatric dentist is a fully qualified dentist who has gone on to complete an extra full time post graduate course in the specialty of paediatric dentistry at an accredited university. They are trained in many areas including:
- Growth and psychological development of children.
- The causes and treatment of the full range of oral diseases both inherited and acquired.
- How a child’s temperament, family and school environments and background impact their oral health.
- Childhood illness and how these can impact on oral health and dental treatment.
The dentists at our practice are trained in general dentistry. While we can perform basic exams and treatment on children, for complicated cases, we’ll refer you to one of several excellent paediatric dentists around Melbourne.
Dentists of Ivanhoe Central – Your Local Kid’s Dentist
Our goal is to educate you with enough information about how to choose a great dentist for your children, what to expect at your first visit and how to promote strong oral hygiene for the whole family for years to come.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your child’s dental health, please ring our dental practice and speak with one of our helpful staff.
We look forward to seeing you soon!