If decay is present in your child’s teeth it can affect the development of their adult teeth
You can still look after the health of your child’s teeth before their first tooth erupts. The advantage is that by looking after your child’s oral health before their first tooth appears you are giving their teeth a better chance of being healthy when they erupt.
To look after your child’s oral health before their first tooth erupts is easy:
- Don’t put them to bed with milk or orange juice
Letting your baby fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk results in continuous contact between their gums and sugar where it can start to affect tooth development. Remember: when we sleep we produce less saliva. While we sleep, bacteria can more easily impact our oral health.
- Clean their gums after feeding
After you’ve given milk or juice to your baby (and after you’ve fed her) we recommend wiping their gums gently with a damp cloth to keep their gums clean and healthy.
What to do when their first tooth erupts
When your child’s first tooth erupts you should clean the tooth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. This will help to keep the tooth clean and free of bacteria. By ensuring the health of your child’s baby teeth there is more chance of their adult teeth coming through fine.
Another important thing: Baby teeth aren’t just there for eating. They help the jaw get used to doing things like eating and speaking.
Tooth decay in children
According to the Australian Child Dental Health Survey; 63% of children under the age of 9 have decayed, missing or filled baby teeth.
This is an issue which see-saws in Australia. Between 1995 and 1999 the issue of tooth decay in children was improving, with only 35% of children under the age of 9 having decayed, missing or filled baby teeth.
Dentists, like the team at Redlands Gentle Dental Care, are working more closely with parents to help them look after the dental health of their child.
Child Dental Benefit Schedule
The Child Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS) is a government initiative to help patients between the ages of 2 and 17. The CDBS gives these patients $1000 over two calendar years to spend on general dental treatments such as:
- Fissure sealing
- Root canal treatment
There are certain eligibility criteria, so it’s best to check with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re eligible.
When to start visiting the dentist
When you’re having an appointment it might be a good idea to bring your child into the dentist. This can help familiarise them with the dentist and create positive associations. Their first actual appointment doesn’t need to take to place until around their 3rd birthday.