At Skye Dental, we encourage children up to five years old to come in and experience their first ride on the dental chair completely free. Going to the dentist shouldn’t be a daunting or overwhelming experience, which is why our friendly team endeavours to ensure your little one’s first trip is an enjoyable and memorable one!
As parents, there are many questions that we may not know the answers to, particularly when it comes to best practice for optimum oral health for your children. Skye Dental places the same level of importance on education and prevention, as it does quality treatment. As an expert paediatric dentist in Capalaba, the following frequently asked questions may be useful to you:
Why are baby teeth important?
Baby teeth, also known as deciduous teeth, are the first teeth a child develops. The average child has 20 baby teeth. They can remain in the mouth up to the age of 12 years, so it’s important to look after them for your children’s dental health. They will naturally fall out and be replaced by adult teeth, however, they are important for many reasons. They play a key role in:
- Learning to speak
- Maintaining space for adult teeth to grow
- Helping to shape your child’s face
- Helping children to eat a wide variety of foods
Badly decayed or missing teeth may deter children from eating, which will impact their ability to chew. A baby’s first teeth usually come through between six and nine months of age. As soon as they appear, you should begin practising oral health by cleaning them regularly, morning and night. This can be done with either with a soft wet cloth or a small soft toothbrush and water (no toothpaste until 18 months of age).
When do adult (permanent) teeth come through?
Adult teeth, also known as permanent teeth, begin to appear in the mouth from six years of age. Like baby teeth, the timing for when the adult teeth come through differs from one child to the next. Generally, by the age of 13 years, an average person has 28 adult teeth.
Third molars, commonly called wisdom teeth, generally come through between the ages of 17 and 21 years. By about 21 years, the average person has 32 adult teeth, including 16 in the upper jaw and 16 in the lower jaw. At Skye Dental, we have an extra-oral x-ray machine and intra-oral x-ray machine on site, to check for your children’s wisdom teeth.
Teething is the natural process, whereby babies experience tooth eruption (teeth coming through). The first tooth will usually come through at around 6 months of age. However, a very small number of babies will get their first tooth earlier and an even smaller number will be born with a tooth already there. All teeth should be cleaned once they have erupted.
From the age of 6 months through to 3 years, children will have their full set of baby teeth. The shedding process (exfoliation), when baby teeth begin to fall out, begins at around 6 years of age and continues through until 12 years.
Signs of teething
Teething will often cause some level of pain and discomfort to babies and toddlers. Signs of teething include:
- Restlessness during the day and sleeplessness at night
- Increased dribbling
- Red and swollen gums which feel hard and pointed when pressed
- Rubbing gums together in a grinding motion
- Being fussy with food
- Placing objects or fingers in the mouth.
Note: A fever (or temperature above 37°C) is not associated with teething. If a child has a higher than normal temperature or diarrhoea, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
Healthy Drinks for Healthy Teeth
The drink choices designed specifically for babies, toddlers and children greatly impact their oral health. Babies under the age of 12 months should be drinking breastmilk or infant formula, whereas, toddlers and children should be encouraged to drink tap water and plain milk.
Babies start to get teeth from 6 months of age and it is important to look after them. They receive most of their hydration from breast milk or infant formula and should be exclusively breastfed until around 6 months of age to ensure optimum oral health.
If a feeding bottle is used, a child should be held while feeding and never leave a baby to feed on their own (with a bottle propped). Do not put your baby to sleep with a bottle or prop the bottle against the baby’s mouth as this can lead to milk pooling on the babies teeth and as a result tooth decay will develop. You can introduce your baby to a cup at around six months of age to teach the skill of sipping from a cup.
After 12 months of age, children can be offered full-fat milk. From two years of age, reduced fat milk can be offered. Milk is a good source of calcium which is needed for strong and healthy teeth. Remember that flavoured milk contain sugar and are not recommended.
For children over 12 months of age, water should be the main drink. Offer children water to drink throughout the day and with meals and snacks. Children should not drink sweet drinks such as soft drinks, cordial, fruit juice, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks if they’d like to maintain a high level of oral healthcare.
Come See Us
As your expert paediatric dentist in Capalaba, we encourage children to come in and have a free first ride on the dental chair up to the age of 5 years old. It is important to make it fun for children and not to let the trip to the dentist be a scary one. To make your child’s first experience at the dentist a happy one, be sure to book an appointment with our friendly team today on 07 3823 1896.