Getting Children Excited About Their Smile
It’s fun for our team to see our younger patients at Macquarie Dentists and get them excited about their oral health. We spend time letting them get used to us and our equipment and make their appointment with us a fun experience. They get to
- push the buttons
- have a ride in the chair
- squirt the air and water
- and just get to know our equipment, which can look scary even to adults.
They can put on masks and gloves and pretend to be the childrens dentist!
This really helps children relax and see that we are there to help them have healthy mouths and teeth.
We Always Show Them How To Best Clean Their Teeth
We may even paint their teeth pink or purple to show them where the dirt on the teeth is. Then we help them to learn the best way to remove it. This can really help take the pressure off when Mum or Dad tell them to brush their teeth!
Many of our younger patients love coming to see us and ask their parents when they can come again!
Our childrens dentists will also usually clean their teeth with our electric brush. They often love this as they find it tickles their gums! It also helps them to get used to having things in their mouth.
Regular childrens dentist appointments get them set for life.
At Macquarie Dentists, we recommend your whole family visit our childrens dentists for a check-up every six months from the age of 3 years old. Of course, if there are any issues earlier than this, we are happy to see them.
This will ensure early treatment of:
- any problems with teeth not coming through straight
- bone structure development
- or tiny cavities
It will also enables our dentists to assess any potential orthodontic problems.
Your child’s check-up is thorough and aims to relax them and build their trust and confidence so they see the childrens dentist experience and oral care as fun and important.
Why They’re Important And When You Should Have Them
Good tooth development and oral health is important for young children as baby teeth create the strong foundation for adult teeth. At Macquarie Dentists, we recommend your child visit our team for a check-up every six months from the age of 3 years old. Of course, if there are any issues earlier than this, we are happy to see them.
This will ensure any problems with teeth not coming through straight, bone structure development or tiny cavities can be treated early. It will also enable our dentists to assess any potential orthodontic problems.
Your child’s check-up is thorough and aims to relax them and build their trust and confidence so they see the dental experience and oral care as fun and important.
Tough Teeth, Healthy Smile
Fluoride is a chemical compound naturally found in many foods and water that helps strengthen teeth as well as prevent and reduce tooth decay and sensitivity. In addition it may be applied to your teeth by your dentist or used at home in a mouthwash or toothpaste. Fluoride is needed daily throughout life to protect teeth against decay and is most easily applied through brushing with fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water – bottled water contains little to no fluoride. The most important time to apply some fluoride at home is before bed as the flow of saliva (which protects teeth against decay) is lowest during sleep.
It is important that children have fluoride in limited amounts, such as in drinking water, as this will help them develop strong teeth as they grow. Fluoride is essential for developing children’s permanent teeth. The popularity of bottled water has led to some children not getting enough fluoride to build strong teeth and bones.
Macquarie Dentists may apply a fluoride solution to teeth to help in the prevention of decay and maintenance of a healthy mouth. The very best time in life to do this is when our teeth are growing and first coming in to the mouth. At this stage, the tooth structure is still ‘open’ like a sponge, and takes the fluoride in better, making the tooth structure stronger and more resistant to forming holes. Macquarie Dentists will usually, therefore, not apply fluoride each time you or your child visits us. It will be applied when teeth are newly erupting in the mouth, or if a patient is having problems with much tooth decay. This is a simple and pain-free treatment that involves cleaning the teeth and application of fluoride varnish to the teeth using a tiny brush, similar to a nail polish brush.
Macquarie Dentists will often recommend a fluoride treatment for children who are also having fissure sealants to protect teeth and prevent tooth decay.
A Tooth’s Security Seal
The cleft-like grooves on the chewing surface of the back teeth are called fissures. This is a common site of decay but the application of a ‘fissure sealant’ to this area can help prevent decay in this area. A fissure sealant is a tooth coloured resin material that is placed over the groove network and usually also releases fluoride into the tooth to also help prevent decay.
Application of fissure sealant is a very simple, pain-free procedure that only takes a few minutes for each tooth and will last for several years.
This is commonly done to children’s teeth but sealants are also placed on adult teeth if their grooves appear deep.
As your child’s teeth develop it is important you bring them in to see the Macquarie Dentists team every six months to assess their grooves.
Protecting Your Greatest Asset
No matter what sport your child plays, and of all the pieces of sports equipment they may need, the most essential in any kit is a properly fitted mouthguard.
Macquarie Dentists can create a customised mouthguard designed to fit over your child’s teeth and gums. Not only will it protect their teeth, it will also make it easier to breathe and add extra cushioning against an accidental blow to the face. A properly fitted mouthguard can also lessen the severity of a concussion.
The Foods And Habits That Keep Your Smile Healthy
Oral Hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth clean by removing the harmful bacteria, or plaque, that causes dental diseases. It consists of both professional and personal care and is essential in maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing decay (dental caries), gum disease, or gingivitis and periodontitis, and other dental disorders. Macquarie Dentists will educate you about good oral hygiene and the techniques best for your mouth, demonstrating the most effective brushing, flossing or other techniques designed for your individual needs. Knowing and using the correct technique is half the battle to achieving and maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing dental problems in the future.
Use a soft toothbrush positioned on the gumline where the teeth and gums meet. Angle the brush at 45 degrees to allow the bristles to gently clean under gums. Brush in small side to side jiggling motions on 1-2 teeth at a time. Brush the outside surfaces of the teeth, under the cheeks and lips, and also the inside surfaces next to your tongue and on the roof of your mouth. Also brush the chewing surfaces of all upper and lower rear teeth, the premolars and molars. This area is the only area in the mouth that can be scrubbed. You can also brush the top of the tongue to remove bacteria. Electric tooth brushes are effective if used brushing only a small area at a time and positioned as outlined above, but a manual toothbrush can be just as efficient when used correctly.
Break off a 50cm length of dental floss, ribbon or tape. Wind the ends around the longest, middle fingers. This leaves the index fingers and thumbs free to place the floss over the tips of these fingers and manipulate it. Try to keep about 1cm tight enough between your two hands to slide the floss between teeth. Position the floss at the junction between two teeth. To slide the floss through the junction, use a side to side ‘sawing’ motion with slight upward pressure on the top teeth and downward pressure for the bottom teeth. The floss should gently slide between the teeth. Do not force the floss since it will hit the gums and hurt! When the floss is through the junction and in the space between teeth, you need then to slide it under the gum as far it will go, and clean on the side of the tooth in an up and down action. Plaque is sticky stuff so don’t be too gentle! Imagine how much you clean with a brush, you need to clean just as much with floss to effectively remove plaque. You need to do this on two surfaces; i.e. the surface of the tooth in front of the floss and the surface of the tooth behind the floss. To reach your back teeth, it helps to close your mouth enough to soften cheek muscles.
These are like small bottle brushes that fit between teeth and under gums and can be a very effective alternative to using floss. Our dentists will advise what is most appropriate for your mouth.
Eating on the go and frequent snacking as well as the types of foods and drinks you consume effect good oral health. Acidic foods and drinks can ‘erode’ enamel from teeth if consumed too frequently or sipped over a long period of time and held in the mouth. Healthy foods that are rich in calcium and iron, like milk, cheese and meat as well as crunchy foods like apples, pears, carrot and celery sticks are good for strengthening tooth enamel. They also contribute to reducing plaque and tartar build-up and the development of cavities.
Saliva contains anti-bacterial properties and is the body’s natural defence against tooth decay, constantly washing away acids and replenishing minerals in teeth. Drinking fluoridated water after a snack helps to quickly neutralise acid from sugary soft and sports drinks plus snacks like lollies, cakes and biscuits, which can adhere to the surface of your teeth for some time after eating them.
Macquarie Dentists will assess your mouth and diet to help establish your risk factors for decay. We will then help you understand what you can do to help prevent dental problems You do not need to eliminate ALL the foods and drinks that can have a bad effect on teeth as even simple and small dietary changes, such as drinking more fluoridated water and substituting some more ‘tooth friendly’ choices in your diet each day can make a big difference.
Oral Hygiene For Children
Macquarie Dentists stains the dirt or bacteria on your child’s teeth with a harmless dye so they can really see what the dirt looks like. We then show them the most effective brushing, flossing or other techniques designed for their individual needs, and each time we see them we review how they are managing and help them improve.
Best of all, we try to make it fun and take the pressure off Mum and Dad to nag them to clean their teeth! If they know and use the correct technique to clean their teeth, this is half the battle to achieving and maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing dental problems in the future.
Did You Know That Your Child Could Be Receiving Bulk-Billed Dental Care From Macquarie Dentists?
With the Government’s Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), you could receive benefits for basic dental services, from medicare, for your children between the ages of 2 and 17.
You need to check with Medicare first regarding your child’s eligibility and, if they are eligible, inform us that you want treatment done under this scheme BEFORE any treatment commences.
We are not able to claim for treatment through Medicare after the treatment has been done.
If you’re currently receiving a government payment, such as Family tax Benefit Part A, you may qualify to receive up to $1013 worth of benefits under the CBDS over a two calendar year period. It can cover the cost of examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions for your children from Macquarie Dentists.
For more information please see http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/child-dental-benefits-schedule