Starting your child on the right tooth
Your child’s dental health can play a pivotal role in the condition of their future adult smile
Our dental professionals at Honeysuckle Dental on Honeysuckle Drive in Newcastle are committed to helping children smile wider with excellent dental health and a beautiful smile. A healthy adult smile is often achieved with a history of sound oral hygiene and dedicated dental care.
When it comes to children’s dentistry, our team makes it a priority to lay the foundations of a healthy dental partnership with our youngest patients, their parents and our dental professionals. By having the three parties work together to establish excellent dental health for children we can ensure that your child has the best possible chance to maintain a smile that they can keep for a lifetime.
Why are baby teeth important?
Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as baby teeth, can play an essential role in the later development of your child’s adult teeth. These teeth can also affect the later health of their gums and the positioning of their bite and jawbone. These teeth act as place holders for the later adult teeth and the gum tissue and jaw bone will often develop around these teeth. As these different parts of your oral function begin to develop, they can often leave space to accommodate for the later eruption of the adult teeth.
As well as their future dental health, baby teeth are also important for children’s current health. Baby teeth allow for the mastication of food in order for children to digest it and gain the necessary nutrients from their food source. These initial teeth also allow children to begin forming and shaping their words, furthering their pronunciation and laying the foundations for their later speech development.
How to protect your child’s smile at home
There are a number of steps parents can take to help protect their children’s dental health. Dr Andrew Nixon and our orthodontic professionals suggest that parents begin to clean their children’s gums before their teeth have even erupted. Simply rubbing a damp cloth around the gums can help to keep the gums clean and safeguard the area in which the baby teeth will erupt. Once the child’s baby teeth have erupted we suggest that parents brush their teeth for them with a soft bristled tooth brush twice a day until they develop both the motor skills and the commitment to ensure that no teeth are missed. You can also start teaching them how to floss to ensure that they do not miss spaces between the teeth.
There are some important things that you should avoid or discourage your child to do when it comes to establishing excellent oral health. These things include:
• Thumb sucking
• Putting your child to bed with milk or a drink
• Not brushing their teeth before bed
How our dental professionals can safeguard your child’s smile
Your child should visit our dental professionals around seven years of age. By this time most or all of their baby teeth will have erupted and they will be on the road to developing a healthy adult smile. There are a number of steps our dental professionals can take in order to help your child achieve or maintain a healthy smile. Some potential things we may look at during your child’s dental appointment include:
A dental clean
While brushing your child’s teeth morning and night is crucial in order to help avoid cavities and other dental disorders, some stubborn plaque can build up that cannot be removed by at home dental hygiene care. Our dental professionals can remove this plaque and give your child’s teeth a thorough clean if it is required.
By performing a thorough oral assessment our dental professionals can assess the health and development of your:
- Soft tissues
- Jawbone and bite
By assessing all these factors that operate within your mouth we can begin to gauge an understanding of your potential future dental health. A misaligned bite can be problematic later in life, however if our dental professionals identify these concerns early on in life then we can have a better chance of correcting them less invasively. This less invasive treatment is often also more time efficient, comfortable and less expensive.
If our dental professionals notice any concerns in these areas we can tailor a treatment plan for your child in order to help them work towards establishing sound oral heath, as well as a smile that can last a lifetime.
When necessary our dental professionals may suggest that your child receives fissure sealants, a fissure sealant can be a useful dental treatment in order to prevent the development of potentially harmful dental concerns, such as decay. Fissure sealants are appropriate for teeth that have deep crevices that could become vulnerable to the build-up of bacteria. These deep gaps, or fissures, are also often hard or even impossible to reach with a tooth brush. A fissure sealant will fill this gap with a composite material in order to safeguard the tooth against the potential future development of decay.
It is not uncommon for children to have developed some tooth decay. While our dental professionals strive to work with you and your child to help prevent this from occurring, children who miss their general check-ups or those who are prone to decay can develop cavities. When decay occurs our dental professionals can gently provide your child with a durable white filling in order to safeguard them against further decay.
Making children feel comfortable
Here at Honeysuckle Dental we ensure that our youngest patients feel comfortable and ease while visiting our dental practice. Our dental professionals aim to create a familiarisation between our team and our patients and in doing so we endeavour to ensure that each and every one of our patients feels comfortable. This extends to our youngest patients and we take time to get to know each child so we can eliminate dental anxiety and hopefully found a positive association with visiting the dentist.
If your child is around the age of seven years old, or if they are presenting any concerning symptoms, please do not hesitate to contact our team for a general check-up or specialised appointment on (02) 4915 9230.