Family Dentistry – Children Dentistry: We often get asked by parents who come into Dental Essence, “At what age is the best time to bring children to the dentist?” The determining factor is how well the child can tolerate strangers. Some children will scream and shout before even entering the dental rooms. In cases like this, it’s best to wait and allow them to get used to dental settings.
With a team of child-friendly Oral Health Therapists and dentists working at our family dental clinic in Essendon, we advise that the parents get an examination whilst the child is watching so they can see what a dentist or an Oral Health therapist is and that he/she counts teeth and makes sure that they are healthy. Once the child has observed mum and dad getting their teeth looked at, then they are more open to a simple dental examination.
As a general rule, the age of 3-4 years old should be a rough guide for their first dental visit. Prior to this age, it is advisable that parents have a regular brief look inside their child’s mouth.
Young children often suck their thumbs or their dummies. In a growing child, this can adversely affect the shape of the teeth and bones of the oral cavity if left untreated. The result is an open bite of the front teeth with the teeth at the top not meeting the teeth on the bottom when a child bites down.
The best treatment is early intervention. These habits need to be detected early so that the upper shape of the jaw is not affected. Once the thumb sucking has been identified we need to then place a functional appliance to correct the open bite.
Children with crossbite need to be corrected very early, to allow normal growth to occur. If the crossbite is allowed to continue, you will get restricted growth of the upper jaw (constricted maxilla) or too much growth of the lower jaw. This results in a crowded tooth, and large shape deficiencies between the jaws.
The early correction allows for the natural growth of the maxilla to catch up to the mandible, whereas if left untreated until adulthood we are looking at surgery assisted the expansion of the maxilla to correct the crossbite.
Once the maxilla has been expanded to the appropriate size the teeth can be straightened with orthodontics braces.
Before any procedure, we will inform you of the risks by way of written informed consent documentation. Individual results may vary.