Your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled around the first birthday. This visit will familiarise your child with the dental office environment.
Choose your family dentist or one who regularly sees children. Make the visit a positive experience by avoiding the use of negative words such as “hurt, pain, do not be scared”. You may take along a comfort item.
Fluoride Varnish Applications
A dental professional applies Fluoride varnish. The application is done on your baby’s regular visit to the dentist or oral hygienist.
- Fluoride varnish is used on infant and young children’s teeth when there is evidence of white spot lesions, indicating de-mineralisation and high risk of childhood caries.
- Fluoride varnish application is particularly helpful for children identified at high risk for dental caries.
- The child has to wait 30 minutes before eating and drinking and avoid brushing the teeth for 6 hours after the application.
- If yellow varnish is used, the teeth will look yellow until the varnish is removed through brushing.
- The application of fluoride varnish is recommended twice per year and more frequently for children at highest risk for dental decay.
During the dental visit the dentist will examine your child’s dental development and address dental issues such as baby bottle decay, or any teething tenderness while providing preventive care when needed.
Fluoride makes tooth enamel stronger Your dentist may also apply topical fluoride to your child’s teeth at each regular checkup. Most toothpaste contains fluoride. It is important to use the ageappropriate toothpaste with the correct amount or concentration of fluoride.
Sealants are safe, painless, and low-cost way to help protect your child’s back teeth from decay. A thin plastic coating is bonded to the chewing surface of the molar teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves on the surface of the teeth.
Diet, Nutrition and Tooth Decay
A few simple steps to remember:
- Once your baby drinks anything other than breast milk the teeth are at risk for decay
- Be sure to feed your child a balanced diet and healthy food.
- Limit the amount of sugar in your baby’s diet. Avoid processed foods and prepared formulas, as these contain lots of excess sugar.
- Never let your baby go to sleep with a bottle of anything except water.
Your baby will fall asleep with a mouth coated with juice, milk or some sweetened liquid. If this practice continues it can lead to high levels of decay-producing bacteria even before the first milk teeth appear in the mouth. It is the acids that are produced by these bacteria that cause tooth decay. The longer the teeth are exposed to the acids the sooner they will start to decay.