Paediatric Dentistry

When should I take my child to the dentist?

6 months after the first tooth appears is the general rule of thumb. The first visit can be on a trial basis, designed to familiarise the infant with the dental surroundings.

Your child’s first dental experience is very important. A negative experience would make future visits more challenging for both the child and parent. The sooner the child gets acclimatised to the clinic and the dental experience, the easier it will be for the whole family.

From 1 year old the child can be brought in when the parent is getting a checkup and clean, to observe the surroundings. Each year they can come in to get used to sitting on the chair and when they reach school age they can have their first clean.

What if my child is nervous about going to the dentist?

Try to be as supportive as possible and assure them that it will be a fun experience! If you are anxious about seeing the dentist too, try to not let your kids know. Here is a great Peppa Pig episode about visiting the dentist!

When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?

You should gently wipe your baby’s gums daily with a wet cloth. When their teeth do appear, you can brush them with specially designed baby-friendly brushes, which have small heads, rounded bristles, and will be kind on teeth and gums. Use plain water once a day, not toothpaste.

For children between eighteen months and two years of age you can begin to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing low amounts of fluoride, and make sure they learn to spit it out after brushing.

For children between two and eight years, you can use smears of regular toothpaste or a milk teeth toothpaste, if they still have trouble spitting out the excess. Supervise while they brush their own teeth first. Up to the age of six, children do not usually have the dexterity required to brush their own teeth well, so help them with the task once they have had a chance to practice on their own. They should be brushing twice a day for at least two minutes each time, usually after morning/evening meals.

What is the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS)?

You can take advantage of the CDBS dental benefits programme at our clinic. Under the initiative, your child is eligible for $1000 worth of basic dental services that starts for eligible children from 2 years old, lasts for 2 years and is renewed every 2 years up til the age of 17 years old.

If you have received a letter from the Australian Government notifying you about your eligibility, simply bring the letter and your Medicare card to our clinic and we’ll take care of the rest. You do not need to pay for the services or submit a claim form.

For more information see the Medicare link here:
https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/child-dental-benefits-schedule

Are baby teeth that important?

Baby/milk teeth are just as important as adult teeth. Even though your child’s baby teeth will be replaced over time, preventing tooth decay in these ‘milk’ teeth is still important. Bad bacteria around baby teeth can often linger and spread to newly erupted permanent teeth. Your baby’s first teeth will begin to appear usually at around six months of age and will only be fully replaced by around the age of twelve. Baby teeth are essential for positioning of the adult teeth as they come through and for the development of speech, chewing and healthy adult teeth.