childrens dentistryThe first dental visit for children is usually short. This visit gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist and staff in a very friendly  informal way. Sometimes we may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and ‘go for a ride in the chair’ and then stay whilst their child has their dental examination.

HBF no longer offers ‘gap free’ general treatment for children. Beach Road Dental Care believe that preventative care is important for children and where ever possible will discount preventative items  to help ensure children are set up with good teeth for life.

What’s involved in a full examination?

During the examination, your dentist will check all of your child’s existing teeth for decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. We can also educate parents about oral health care basics for children and discuss dental developmental issues and answer any questions you may have.

Topics your dentist may discuss with you:

Many dentists like to see children every 6 months to build up the child’s confidence, to monitor the development of the teeth and promptly treat any developing problems.

It’s important to know that the parent or legal guardian that accompanies the child for this first visit will be asked to complete medical and health information forms concerning the child.

Children 18 months and under:

For most children 18 months and under our dentist will perform a  visual inspection of their teeth addressing any concerns with you as the parent. We will review topics of diet and nutrition, tooth eruption, how to properly clean your child’s teeth.

Children 18 months and over:

Our dentists may  do a “show and tell” with your child, demonstrating the various instruments used during a typical cleaning.  Your child will be able to relax in one of our treatment chairs where they will have their teeth examined and cleaned if necessary. We will begin providing dental care to your child with the “tell show do” method, where each instrument used will be shown and explained to your child.

X-rays:

X-rays, also called radiographs, are a valuable diagnostic tool. X-rays help the dentist to:

There is no standard timetable for when your child’s mouth should be X-rayed. The need varies with the child’s development and dental health. If your child has had many cavities and fillings or has a high risk of tooth decay, your dentist might suggest X-rays more frequently. If X-rays aren’t taken when they are needed, problems can become worse.

Dental X-rays are very safe and expose your child to a minimal amount of radiation. When all standard safety precautions are taken, today’s X-ray equipment is able to eliminate unnecessary radiation and allows the dentist to focus the X-ray beam on a specific part of the mouth. High-speed film enables the dentist to reduce the amount of radiation the patient receives.

Trauma and Emergencies

Here is a summary of the kinds of things that we see when kids injure themselves. Often these injuries are sports related and can be reduced by the children wearing a custom made mouthguard, and the quite common bumping the head of another child. There are different type of accidents and each require different dental attention.

  1. Bumped Tooth: Sometimes the gums bleed some and the tooth seems loose, but is in the same position as before. This is more common and usually needs no treatment whether it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth.  The child should leave the tooth alone, have a soft diet and take painkillers to control the discomfort. If the tooth is very mobile it may need to be removed or splinted. This depends on the child and the child’s age. Please consult your dentist as soon as possible. Sometimes a  tooth will turn dark and may require more treatment, again consult your dentist if you have concerns.
  1. Tooth Knocked Out of Position: This is more serious. Usually, repositioning the tooth is desirable, preferably the day of the accident.  Repositioning is important when the knocked tooth interferes with the child’s ability to close their teeth together. The act of knocking the baby tooth  may damage the developing permanent tooth . You won’t really know until the adult tooth erupts whether there has been any damage. Any tooth that has been traumatised is likely to go dark and may even die. There are also risks of fracture of the root so consult your dentist as soon as passable after the trauma for an assessment.
  1. Knocked Out Tooth: If it is a baby tooth, just leave it out and place it under the child’s pillow for the tooth fairy. It is not worth the risk of damage to the developing permanent tooth to replant it. If it is a permanent tooth, follow the advice under “Emergency dentistry” on the ‘Treatments’ page of this web site.
  1. Broken or Chipped Tooth: Quite common, especially in older kids. The little chips in baby teeth are usually not much to worry about and can be smoothed out or left alone. Larger fractures might need a white filling to restore the lost tooth structure. It is quite distressing if a permanent tooth is fractured. Most of the time we can place a filling and the tooth looks good. Even if it is a large fracture, a filling can be placed first and this is easier and generally look really good. Once fully developed the tooth may require a crown to improve strength and cosmetics.
  1. Root fractures, and Various Other Bumps and Traumas: Root fractures might just need a splint or just observation. They can, however, be serious enough that you may need a root canal or even loose the tooth.
  1. Lips, Gums, and Tongues: The mouth has a really good blood supply and therefore bleeds a lot when it sustains a trauma. The good news is that good blood supply usually means rapid healing. Sometimes stitches are needed and most of the time not. It depends on the severity and location. A “Busted Lip” will swell quite a bit, but will usually heal on it’s own.

When to Call the Dentist or go to the Hospital (emergency)

If in any doubt call your dentist ( 9447 4656)  or  hospital emergency department for advice. If there is a head injury with symptoms of vomiting or loss of consciousness do not hesitate and take the child straight to the hospital emergency department for assessment.