Children Dental Care
Children’s oral hygiene is a vital part of their overall health. Caring for your child’s teeth should begin in their early life. Teaching them the proper care for their teeth and gums can set good dental habits as they grow and will lead them to a lifetime of outstanding oral health.
Poor oral care can lead to infection, disease, and other oral problems in the future. At an early age, they can start with brushing and rinsing daily, then have routine dental exams and get necessary treatments like fluoride, extractions, fillings, braces, and other orthodontics if needed.
How to make brushing fun?!
Let’s admit it. Brushing teeth isn’t one of the fun things to do, especially for kids. Here are some ways to encourage your kids to brush their teeth:
- Let your child play a role in selecting their own toothbrush—there are a variety of themed toothbrushes (superheroes or cartoons, for example). Allow them to pick their favorite color or character.
- Let children choose their toothpaste—there is an array of fun flavors that kids may enjoy. Allow them to pick their favorite.
- Make time to read books or watch videos that talk about dental hygiene together.
- To make sure your kids brush their teeth for 2 minutes, use a timer or play music to help keep track of time. Have your kids pick a song!
- Reward your child for good oral health. Remember to offer only healthy options, not sugary treats.
- Plan a fun activity following your child’s dentist visit (like going to the theme park, etc.).
- More importantly, brush your teeth together and be a good example of good dental hygiene.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is one of the most common tooth problems among children. It can happen when teeth are not cared for. Cavities are caused by plaque, a harmful layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When your child eats or drinks food that has sugar in it, the bacteria produce acids. These acids make cavities form. If not prevented early on, cavities can cause:
- Harm to permanent teeth that are coming in
- Early removal of a baby tooth can cause tooth movement of the surrounding teeth, leading to orthodontic issues later
- Pain or toothache
- Infections can harm the whole body
- Expensive dental or emergency care
- Missed school days
Tips to keep cavities away
- At least twice a day, preferably before bedtime, brush your child’s teeth.
- Train the children to brush on their own and develop the habit of brushing—but you should assist them to make sure they’re doing it right.
- Teach your child what to do if a tooth is broken or knocked out. Acting quickly can often save the tooth.
- When your child has teeth, they should begin flossing each evening before going to bed.
- Give only non-sugary drinks and foods at mealtimes.
- To prevent long-term oral problems, take your child to the dentist every 6 months .
How to care for a baby’s gums?
Babies can get tooth decay too. If your child doesn’t have teeth yet, it is important to take care of their gums to prevent bacteria from sticking to them. Bacteria leave a plaque that will damage infant teeth as they come in. Please take note that caring for a baby’s gums shouldn’t involve a toothbrush and toothpaste. Take these steps:
- Get a soft, moistened washcloth.
- At least twice a day, gently wipe down your baby’s gums.
- Remember to wipe your baby’s gums after feeding and before bedtime.
How to brush a baby’s teeth?
When your child’s first baby teeth start to pop up, you can already use a toothbrush to clean them. Although pediatricians may suggest waiting until four teeth in a row have come out or waiting until the child is 2 or 3 years old. When your child is ready, choose a toothbrush that has a soft brush and a small head. Soak in warm water for a few minutes before using it to soften the bristles even more.
The child can also start using toothpaste, but only in a very small amount. The usual pea-sized amount is recommended for a child aged 3.
Fluoride protects and strengthens the teeth against the formation of cavities. Using it will provide extra protection for the developing teeth.
As your child’s permanent teeth grow, decay can be prevented by applying a sealant to the back teeth where most chewing is done. This protective coating (sealant) will keep bacteria from settling in.
Benefits of regular dental checkups
During the dental checkup, the dentist will evaluate if the teeth are developing normally. Early dental problems like tooth decay, crowded teeth, and yellow stains on baby teeth can be taken care of early on. The dentist will give you further advice on proper hygiene and recommend early orthodontic treatment and other preventive measures to save the teeth from further damage. Taking your children to the dentist at an early age makes them love seeing a dentist. If a child hasn’t undergone regular dental checkups or they’ve gone too long in-between visits, their fear of the dentist will tend to increase. On top of that, early preventive care saves you money in the long run.
At what age should a child visit the dentist?
We recommend you take your child to the dentist at an age between 1 and 2 1/2 years old. There are some dentists who welcome a “trial” visit—this can be helpful for your child to get used to the feel of the clinic before the actual exam. However, if the child is used to having their gums wiped and teeth brushed daily, they will most likely be comfortable going to the dentist.
Proper care for your child’s baby teeth has a great impact on the permanent teeth as they come in. It is very important to have well taken care of. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s oral health, feel free to call us or visit any of our two offices. Our team of experts would love to meet you and your little one!
CDBS – Child dental scheme benefit ( Medicare)
The Child Dental Benefits Schedule, or CDBS, is an Australian Government initiative that was introduced to make dental care accessible to families who are on Medicare or receive other government benefits.
The total dental benefit is capped at $1,026 per child over two years and in order to access the benefits, certain eligibility criteria need to be met. If the full amount is not spent in the first year, it is carried over into the second year. Any funds not used by the end of the second year are forfeited.
If your child is eligible, there is no waiting period and you can make an appointment immediately. It is important to find out whether the dentist that you choose does accept CDBS when you make the appointment. Of course, we do at Esteem Dental Care, and we choose to bulk bill so generally there is no out of pocket expense.
Before beginning any work, your dentist will take time to inform you of the costs of any treatment so that you can spend your allowance effectively. As mentioned, we choose to bulk bill dental expenses, though some practices require that you make up-front payment and claim back from the scheme.
The Child Dental Benefit Scheme covers a range of basic dental services including routine checks, fillings, fissure sealing, x-rays, root canal treatments and extractions. The government has provided itemised codes for the treatments that are covered by the CDBS here.
It’s important to note that services classified as ‘high-end’ are not covered by the CDBS. This includes orthodontic or surgical work and cosmetic dental work. Additionally, dental services provided in a hospital operating theatre will not be covered.
Every calendar year the eligibility of a child is determined and the funded benefits are made available for two calendar years. A child becomes eligible to receive the benefits if they are between two and seventeen years old for at least one day of the calendar year.
In addition, they should meet the requirements, be eligible for Medicare and be part of a family that receives government entitlements.
At Esteem Dental Care we opt to bulk-bill treatments which means that there is no out-of-pocket expense for families with eligible children.
We will sit with your family to develop a detailed treatment plan including the costs in order to allocate the allowance effectively. We will also communicate if there are additional costs before beginning any work.
Private Medical Funds and EFTPOS payment options are also available.