A healthy smile
begins with a child

KIDS

Baby teeth, also called primary teeth are just as important as adult (permanent) teeth. Strong, healthy primary teeth can help your child chew and speak. They also hold spaces (think of it as booking seats) for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.

When babies are born, they usually have 20 primary teeth that have partly formed inside their gums. The front two upper and lower teeth usually begin to come in (erupt) when your baby is between six and 12 months old. Most children have a set of 20 primary teeth in their mouths by their third birthday.

First Dental Visit

Your baby is hitting new milestones every day, and his or her first dental visit is a big deal! This visit should occur within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears, but no later than the child’s first birthday. It is best to see the dentist when your child is having no dental problem – don’t wait until an emergency comes up.

So some of you may ask – why schedule a visit so early? Scheduling your child’s first dental visit within his or her first birthday will allow your dentist to show you how to clean your child’s teeth, discuss diet and fluoride needs and recommend oral care products. He or she can answer your questions about your baby’s teeth, just like a well-baby visit with your paediatrician. The dentist also looks out for problems such as tooth decay.

Having a well-baby check-up at this age also connects your child to a dental home. This is a “home base” for dental care, a place where you can take your child from year to year. This helps the dentist to get to know your child’s specific needs, so he or she can provide the best care.

Tips for a great visit

  • Prepare your child by talking about what’s going to happen positively. Reading books or watching videos about first dental visits may help your child be less fearful and more confident. You can try Peppa Pig and George at the Dentist
  • Mum and dad can prepare too by making a list of questions such as if your child is teething, sucking his or her thumb or using a pacifier too much. Your dentist can offer some advice.
  • Bring along your child’s favourite toy/gadget. Most children find comfort in familiar things when they are in an unfamiliar environment.
  • Do not schedule an appointment during naptime. Instead, pick a time your child is usually well-rested and cooperative.
  • Make sure your child has had a light meal and brushes their teeth before their appointment so they won’t be hungry during their visit.
  • Save snacks for after the visit so they aren’t on your child’s teeth during the exam.
  • Think of the appointment as a happy and fun experience. If your child becomes upset during the visit, work with your dentist to calm your child. You’re on the same team!
  • Fissure Sealants and
    Fluoride Varnish

    Tooth decay can occur as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. Parents may wonder why they should be worried about decay in baby teeth, since they will be replaced by permanent teeth. The problem is that decay in primary teeth could mean a higher risk of decay in the permanent teeth. And if decay is severe, it can harm the child’s overall health, as the infection can spread to the nearby soft tissues and lead to obstruction in breathing.

    What causes tooth decay?

    Tooth decay can occur as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. Parents may wonder why they should be worried about decay in baby teeth, since they will be replaced by permanent teeth. The problem is that decay in primary teeth could mean a higher risk of decay in the permanent teeth. And if decay is severe, it can harm the child’s overall health, as the infection can spread to the nearby soft tissues and lead to obstruction in breathing.

    How can your dentist do to prevent tooth decay?

    Tooth decay (dental caries) has been shown to most commonly affect the biting surfaces of the baby and permanent molars. This is because these teeth often have deep grooves on their biting surfaces that trap plaque and caries-causing bacteria.

    Your dentist may recommend “sealing” over these grooves with a fluid that hardens to form a protective layer over the tooth. Fissure sealants thus act as a preventive measure in particularly caries-prone surfaces and are especially important if oral hygiene in these areas prove difficult.

    Another preventive method that your dentist may suggest is fluoride varnish application. Fluoride varnish is safe and used by dentists all over the world to help prevent tooth decay in children. Only a small amount is used, and hardly any fluoride is swallowed. It is quickly applied and hardens. Most children like the taste.

    Steps to achieve good oral health

  • Regular brushing and flossing
  • Eating right
  • Getting enough fluoride
  • Regular care by a dentist trained to treat young children
  • Prevention and Treatment
    of Crooked Teeth

    Some forms of malocclusion (crooked teeth) can be, and should be, treated early. This form of early treatment is known as interceptive orthodontic treatment.

    Your Orthodontist/dentist would be able to advise after a thorough examination of your child. Click this link to find out more.

    Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
    We look forward to seeing you!

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