In the Mouth

 

Regular Cleans

Regular dental professional Cleans and proper education on oral health and diet is the most important way to prevent all dental problems in children.


Brushing at home needs to be done properly, we advise parents supervise and assist with their children’s brushing until the age of 8, brushing teeth is a physical removal of plaque (full of bacteria) and food (sugar) from the teeth.


It is especially important that your child goes to sleep with clean teeth. While awake, saliva acts as a buffer and helps slow the bacterial action. When asleep, there is less saliva flow and therefore less protection for your loved one’s teeth.

 

Preventative dentistry

Molars have deep grooves in them in which plaque, bacteria and food like to hide. This is especially true for permanent molars. At Dentist & Co, we offer sealants, protective coatings placed on molars that seal off the grooves, to prevent cavities from forming.


Sealing molars is a very important part of decay prevention. Sealants can last for several years but do wear down over time and need to be touched up.


Sealants are recommended on permanent molars (6-year molars, 12-year molars, wisdom teeth and premolars). In some cases, sealants may also be advisable on primary teeth. Please feel free to ask us if your child is a candidate for fissure sealants.

Dental Decay

Dental decay is a multi-factorial disease. The decay process does not have an inevitable outcome, and different individuals will be susceptible to different degrees depending on the shape of their teeth, oral hygiene habits, and the buffering capacity of their saliva. All dental decay occurs from acid demineralization that exceeds saliva and fluoride remineralisation, and almost all acid demineralization occurs where food (containing carbohydrate like sugar) is left on teeth. Though most trapped food is left between teeth, over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces where brushing, fluoride, and saliva cannot reach to demineralise the tooth as they do on easy-to-reach surfaces that develop few cavities.

 

 

Childhood caries

One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay also known as early childhood caries (ECC). This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks.
Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay.
Sweet liquid pools around the child’s teeth giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If your child won’t fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle’s contents with water over a period of two to three weeks.
After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the child’s head in your lap or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor. Whatever position you use, be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.

 

Trauma

In an emergency call (02) 9810 3044 and click here for useful information!

 

 

How to Brush

How to Floss

Causes of Tooth Decay

How to Avoid Tooth Decay

Teaching your Child to Clean their Teeth

Tooth Friendly Food & Drinks

 

FAQ

 

Is fluoride safe?

Fluoride is an element, which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help them resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschool-aged children can lead to dental fluorosis, which is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize. Being aware of a child's potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.


Some of these sources are:

• Too much fluoridated toothpaste at an early age.
• The inappropriate use of fluoride supplements.
• Hidden sources of fluoride in the child's diet.
• Two and three year olds may not be able to spit out fluoride-containing toothpaste when brushing. As a result, these youngsters may ingest an excessive amount of fluoride during tooth brushing. Toothpaste ingestion during this critical period of permanent tooth development is the greatest risk factor in the development of fluorosis.
• Excessive and inappropriate intake of fluoride supplements may also contribute to fluorosis. Fluoride drops and tablets, as well as fluoride-fortified vitamins should not be given to infants younger than six months of age. After that time, fluoride supplements should only be given to children after all of the sources of ingested fluoride have been accounted for and upon the recommendation of your pediatric dentist.
Parents can take the following steps to decrease the risk of fluorosis in their children's teeth:
• Use baby toothpaste on the toothbrush of the very young child.
• Place only a pea sized drop of children's toothpaste on the brush when brushing.
• Account for all of the sources of ingested fluoride before requesting fluoride supplements from your child's physician or pediatric dentist.
• Avoid giving any fluoride-containing supplements to infants until they are at least 6 months old.

 

How do I stop my child from grinding his teeth at night?

Parents are often concerned about the nocturnal grinding of teeth (bruxism). Often, the first indication is the noise created by the child grinding on their teeth during sleep. Or, the parent may notice wear (teeth getting shorter) to the dentition. One theory as to the cause involves a psychological component. Stress due to a new environment, divorce, changes at school; etc. can influence a child to grind their teeth. Another theory relates to pressure in the inner ear at night. If there are pressure changes (like in an airplane during take-off and landing when people are chewing gum, etc. to equalize pressure) the child will grind by moving his jaw to relieve this pressure.

 

The majority of cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth (attrition) is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) may be indicated. The negatives to a mouth guard are the possibility of choking if the appliance becomes dislodged during sleep and it may interfere with growth of the jaws. The positive is obvious by preventing wear to the primary dentition.

 

The good news is most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding gets less between the ages 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding when they develop more permanent teeth, between ages 9-12. If you suspect bruxism, discuss this with your pediatric dentist.

 

How do I get my child to stop thumb sucking?

Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. It may make them feel secure and happy or provide a sense of security at difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may induce sleep.

 

Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment. How intensely a child sucks on fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.

 

Children should cease thumb sucking by the time their permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Usually, children stop between the ages of two and four. Peer pressure causes many school-aged children to stop.

 

Pacifiers are no substitute for thumb sucking. They can affect the teeth essentially the same way as sucking fingers and thumbs. However, use of the pacifier can be controlled and modified more easily than the thumb or finger habit. If you have concerns about thumb sucking or use of a pacifier, consult your dental professional.

 

A few suggestions to help your child get through thumb sucking:
• Instead of scolding children for thumb sucking, praise them when they are not.
• Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure. Focus on correcting the cause of anxiety, instead of the thumb sucking.
• Children who are sucking for comfort will feel less of a need when their parents provide comfort.
• Reward children when they refrain from sucking during difficult periods, such as when being separated from their parents.
• Your dental professional can encourage children to stop sucking and explain what could happen if they continue.
• If these approaches don't work, remind the children of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night. Your dental professional may recommend the use of a mouth appliance.

• Are Mouth Guards effective?
• When a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child's smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.
• Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw and severe injury to the head (such as concussion). A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe.
• Ask your dental professional about custom and store-bought mouth protectors.

 

How Do I Prevent Cavities?

Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the left over food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauze or clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water.

 

For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Saliva is a buffer that helps prevent cavities. It is especially important to go to bed with clean teeth since salivary flow is reduced while sleeping. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.

 

The Australian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends six month visits to the pediatric dentist beginning at your child's first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.

 

Your dental professional may also recommend protective sealants or home fluoride treatments for your child. Sealants can be applied to your child's molars to prevent decay on hard to clean surfaces.