Some children are born with teeth. Others won’t get their first tooth until they are 18 months old. Obviously at this age, there is very limited co-operation and the visit is more about discussing oral hygiene routines and healthy dietary habits with parents and carers. Unless parents have specific concerns my opinion is a first visit at around three to four years is appropriate.
The main problem to watch for at this age is “Nursing Bottle Decay.” Nursing Bottle Decay is relatively easy to see – affecting the surfaces of the teeth you see when you smile. It is usually brown or orange in colour.
What Causes Nursing Bottle Decay?
Nursing Bottle Decay is caused by prolonged contact between the carbohydrates in milk & infant formula & the bacteria on the teeth. The Bacteria on the teeth use these sugars as food, producing acid, which then attacks the teeth. Every time a child drinks liquids, acid attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or longer. After many attacks the teeth can decay.
Talking practically, this problem occurs if a child is continuously sucking on milk or infant formula over extended periods of time, for example having a bottle or sipper cup of milk or formula at hand whilst playing or taking a bottle to bed.
In these cases the bacteria in the mouth have a continual food source, continually producing the acids, which cause decay. A bottle or sipper cup of Milk or Infant Formula should be given only at a single sitting. It is also very important that only water or milk is given in bottles or sipper cups.
Preparing for Your Child’s First Dental Visit
While it is true that all of the baby teeth are to be lost, it is important to recognise that visiting the dentist from an early age and avoiding the need for fillings or extractions will create an important favourable impression of a visit to the dentist for your child. Speaking to patients with “dental phobias”, many are the result of a traumatic visit to the dentist at an early age.
Before bringing your child to the dentist it is best to prepare them for what they can expect. Explain that the dentist has a chair that lays back to become a bed & that they will get to go for a ride in the chair. The dentist will look in their teeth using a small mirror & will tickle their teeth with an air spray so he or she can count them. This is a fun way of letting them know what to expect.
In addition my surgery is equipped with an overhead television. We find that children are very co-operative while watching their favourite cartoon!
Alex Bratic Dental Care is a Child-friendly Dental Practice
Alex Bratic Dental Care is well supported by an experienced and friendly team of dental assistants and receptionists who have all worked with Alex for many years. Alex Bratic Dental Care is conveniently located on City Road at Beenleigh. We are close to transport and our onsite parking is free and very easy to access.
For all Health Fund Members our HICAPS facility enables payments to be processed at the time of the appointment, which means members, are only required to pay the difference between the charged fee & the Health Fund Rebate (gap fee).