January is the perfect month to get ourselves organised for the year to come. Back to school shopping, summer clean outs and New Years’ resolutions – January is when we have the best motivation and available time to achieve a more organised existence. It is also the perfect time to commit to comprehensively attending to your child’s dental care.
The national Child Dental Benefits Scheme clicks over each calendar year, entitling eligible children to $1000 per year over a two year period. This can significantly assist with the cost of any general or preventative dental services your child may require. Somerset Dental are proud facilitators of the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, offering an extensive range of included services to care for your child’s dental health. Covered services in the scheme include examinations, x-rays, fillings, fissure sealing, cleaning, root canals and extractions but unfortunately excludes any orthodontic and cosmetic services.
To check your eligibility and the Scheme’s details, please visit the Human Services website. There you will find all of the relevant information to make sure you get the very best entitlements offered under this initiative.
To organise either your child’s first or follow up appointment under the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, simply advise us that you are eligible when making a booking.
A child’s baby teeth will generally start falling out around the age of six, giving space for adult teeth to form and grow. However, just because these baby teeth will fall out doesn’t mean that we should treat them as temporary and not important to a child’s good dental health.
Tooth decay in baby teeth can cause pain, infection and may have serious impact of a child’s speech and jaw development. More worrying is that early tooth decay can lead to higher risk of new decay in adult teeth, setting up a bad start that may lead to years of dental treatment.
Teaching a child to brush and clean their teeth right is important, but just as important is what they are eating. The types of food and drink you give your child can affect development of tooth decay.
Just like adults, children, once weaned onto solids, should have a wide and varied diet, including foods from all the five food groups and time being put aside for regular meal times.
Settling babies to sleep with bottles of milk can lead to early childhood tooth decay, particularly if it happens often. The problem is that the milk contains natural sugars, which can build up around baby’s teeth at night. The germs on the teeth can turn the sugars into acids, which eat away at the enamel of the baby teeth.
Once your baby has finished their milk, remove the bottle so they do not continue to suck on the bottle all night. If you find your child still thirsty, a drink of water from a sippy cup is advised.
Toddlers and food can be a messy business. They are busy exploring everything, into everything, not too keen to sit and have a meal, instead content with grabbing and running, literally. It’s messy because when you do get them long enough to eat, they are desperate to prove independence and feed themselves.
Setting time aside for regular meal times is important to prevent a toddler simply grazing all day. The concern with grazing is that the longer food and drink stays in your child’s mouth, the more chance there is for acid to develop and cause damage to tooth enamel. This means that nibbling foods and sipping drinks over longer periods of time is more likely to cause tooth decay.
By having set meal times and a range of tooth friendly snacks already cut up, such as fruit and vegetables, you are setting up your child with the right approach to food and diet for life as well as good oral health.
Here is where is can get tricky. As you child grow’s and is gaining more and more independence, you are no longer the only source for their food and drink. They are likely spending with others, with friends at play-dates, childcare or pre-school and also have the independence to open a cupboard or the fridge.
It is generally accepted and well known that soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar and shouldn’t be given to young children. However less well known is that these drinks, along with fruit juices and cordials, often have high-acid levels, and can play a major role in the development of tooth erosion.
According to the Australian Dental Authority (ADA) Healthy Eating Fact Sheet, erosion is a silent epidemic. Soft drinks, high sugar fruit juices and cordials should be limited and encourage your child to drink fluoridated water as much as possible.
School Aged Children
Sending a child off to school for the first time can be daunting for both child and parent. Almost as much so for the parents as they are now part something much bigger than themselves as their children are encouraged to show independence.
Even if your child has been in pre-school or day care, generally there would have been someone making sure they ate their lunch and snacks at the right time. However now it’s up to your child if and when they want to eat their lunch. And they have more opportunities than ever to eat food outside of what you provide, swapping and trading lunches with friends and access to that glorious magical place, the canteen.
Sending your child to school with a healthy lunch box that they will eat and enjoy is a challenge every day.
According to the Australian Dental Association, typically foods that can contribute to dental decay include those high in sugar such as concentrated fruit snack bars, sweets, muesli bars and sugary beverages and juices. This is because the sugar feeds the destructive bacteria in children’s mouths, which in turn puts acid on your child’s teeth. Refined foods such as savoury, starchy crackers and chips can also have high carbohydrate (sugar) content.
A well-balanced diet is important for children to maintain healthy lifestyle and good oral health. Making sure you have on hand a wide variety of dentally healthy snacks and foods including nuts, vegetables, yogurt and fruit will help your children will make the right choices for their diet.
Tooth decay is Australia’s most common health problem and is described as the most common ‘disease’ in Australians. The largest group of tooth decay sufferers are children. According to the Australian Dental Association (ADA) 11 million newly decayed teeth develop each year!
Tooth decay is not the only dental problem children suffer, but it is the most common. Children’s dental problems attribute to 600,000 lost school days a year and the number is only growing (ADA). So what are other common dental problems in children? See the list below.
As already mentioned, tooth decay is the most common dental problem in children. Scarily one in two 12 year olds has decay in their permanent teeth (AIHW). This is due to a lack of good dental care, caused by brushing teeth irregularly, children not seeing a dentist in earlier years and overall diet.
2.Not visiting the dentist
In 2012 just over 1 in 4 children between 2-4years old visited the dentist (AIHW). Missing out on dental services from an early age sets a bad dental standard for life. Prevention is key to optimum oral health, a good teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment protects your teeth until your next six monthly appointment and means less likelihood of needing a tooth filling in the future.
Thumb sucking is pretty normal for young children, however when thumb sucking continues past toddlerhood and when permanent teeth are coming through, it is a cause for concern. Thumb sucking can lead to teeth being pushed out of alignment and can cause an overbite. Prevent your children from thumb sucking and you can prevent your children needing braces.
4.Premature tooth loss
Natural early tooth loss isn’t always a problem, but if neglected it can become an issue. If a molar is lost early the remaining baby teeth may move into this space, it is important to watch this as spacing may be affected in the mouth when adult teeth come through. It is best to continue visiting your child’s dentist for up to date dental care during this time.
It is important to look after our children’s gums as our gums are what keep our teeth in place. Gingivitis is a gum disease that causes inflamed gums and it begins with plaque build-up. Teaching your child how to brush their teeth and gums properly will ensure good oral health and will keep away gingivitis.
Starting good dental care habits from a young age will ensure your children will maintain their teeth for a long time to come. At Somerset Dental care we offer the Child Dental Benefit Schedule, a government incentive that provides eligible children between the ages two and 17years access to basic dental services of up to $1000. To make a booking for your children call the Somerset Dental Team on 4648 0909.
Having a good family dentist at your disposal can make a huge difference to your family’s oral care. If you are searching for a reliable, trustworthy dentist, these tips will put you on the right path for dental success!
1. Locally Based
Finding a family dentist that is local is ideal, since it means you won’t have travel long distances see them. This can make your dental checkups and cleans and your other appointments much more convenient. It also means that if you run into any dental emergencies, your dentist will be quick and easy to get to.
2. Friendly Attitude
A good family dentist will value your comfort and state of mind when providing treatment. Great patient service is part of the dental care process and a friendly, caring dentist will make each visit much more pleasant and enjoyable. This is especially important for kids, who may dread going to the dentist, or for others who feel nervous or anxious about each visit.
Your family dentist should also be highly knowledgeable about all areas of dentistry and they should provide you with preventative and other solutions that will benefit your oral health in future. In short, don’t choose a dentist who only offers ‘quick fixes.’
You should also feel comfortable approaching your family dentist about any oral problems and it’s important that you trust their opinion. A good dentist will also have a working knowledge of dental fees and health care plans, so that they can help you manage your dental expenses, too.
4. Experience With Kids
If your kids are young and dislike dentist visits, look for a local family dentist who has experience working with children. These dentists will have a thorough understanding of kids’ dentistry and they will also go to efforts to make nervous children feel more at ease.
Having fun while at the dentist is important for kids too and simple things like child-friendly waiting rooms or take-away treats or ‘show bags’ can make each appointment more entertaining.
5. Range of Treatments
It is also in your best interests to ensure that your family dentist has a range of treatments available. This means that you won’t have to go elsewhere if you need to get a certain procedure done.
Common services can include basic checkups, cleans, fillings and teeth whitening as well as more complex processes like wisdom teeth extraction, root canal treatments, crowns and bridges fittings, ceramic restorations and braces/plates.
6. Emergency Dentistry
You never know when you might need emergency dentistry! A local family dentist who can also perform emergency dentistry procedures can be invaluable. This allows you to keep all of your dental work in one location (along with your dental documents, history and x-rays) and means that you won’t have to explain your dental history to a different dentist during an emergency.
At Somerset Dental Care we value your comfort and wellbeing and we’re passionate about dentistry! To learn more about what we do or book an appointment, contact us via our website or email us at [email protected].