The importance of early dental check-ups
Dr Graham Wong
Early dental check-ups – It’s a common misconception that because kids will eventually lose their baby teeth, it’s less important for them to be seen by their local dentist. That could not be any further from the truth! Kids need their teeth just as much as adults – to eat and smile.
Introducing your child to the dental team at an early age is important for a number of reasons:
- Preventing tooth decay – it’s an opportunity to instil good oral health habits at a young age by educating both parents and kids on healthy eating habits, tooth brushing and flossing techniques, and through fluoride treatment and fissure sealants
- Checking for early signs of tooth decay and treating it before it leads to greater problems such as toothaches
- Counting and checking the alignment of their teeth, and their bite
- Managing teething problems
- Early intervention of habits such as thumb sucking
How early should you get your child in for their first check-up? When their first teeth start to erupt or by 12 months. If you notice anything that seems out of place in their mouths, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and book an appointment as soon as possible.
Similar to their first haircut or first day at school, your child may initially be resistant or scared to attend their first dental appointment. Parents and the dental team have an equally important role in creating an enjoyable and positive experience, which starts with a few basic tips:
- Always talk about the dentist in a positive-light and in child-friendly terms, and never use the dentist as a threat or deterrent as that only serves to reinforce their fears!
- Bring them along to their older sibling’s or your own check-up so that they realise that there’s nothing to be concerned about when it’s eventually their turn
Their first dental appointment may be as simple as having them sit in your lap and going for a ride in one of our dental chairs and that should be seen as a momentous occasion – take photos!
Your child may also be eligible for bulk-billed treatment using the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CBDS) – where Medicare provides assistance for basic dental treatment over a two-year period for children between the ages of 2-17.
If you have a little one who you believe is in need for their regular dental check-up or would like to know if they are eligible for CBDS, get in touch with one of our friendly staff members by giving us a call at (07) 5427 0880 or make an appointment online today.