Marriott & Hand are dedicated to providing dental care for the whole family. We have a special interest in treating children’s teeth. And providing parents with the support and tips to promote healthy habits and care at home. It’s so important to establish appropriate oral health behaviours from a young age. As this will set them up for life.
Tooth decay in children
Babies and toddlers are not exempt from developing decay. The enamel that strengthens and protects teeth is much thinner and softer on baby or milk teeth. This means there is a greater risk of developing decay when children consume sugary foods or drinks. Bacteria in the mouth feed on these sugars and produce acid that leads to decay and damage.
‘Baby bottle decay’ can occur when babies are put to sleep with a bottle of milk or are given juice or formula to sip throughout the day. These drinks can pool in their mouths while they are sleeping and cause damage.
What age should you take a child to the dentist?
The most important aspect is for your child to get used to the environment and surroundings of the dentist. At some stage, he or she will go for a ride in the chair. However, don’t be too concerned if it doesn’t happen on that very first visit! We recommend you bring your child for their first check-up by the age of two. This will allow us to assess the growth and development of your child’s teeth and catch any signs of ‘baby bottle decay’ early on. However, if you have any concerns before this time, we are always happy to have your child come in for an assessment at any age.
Establishing a good relationship with a family dentist early on can help to remove any apprehension or fear of the dentist later in life. It is also important that you as the parent speak about the dentist as a positive experience even if you have some fear yourself.
Baby teeth will fall to out make room for permanent adult teeth. However, they are important for the development of teeth, gums, and bite.
We understand children don’t always behave the way adults do, especially in new environments. The Marriott & Hand team are highly skilled and have many years’ experience with children and families. Patient care is our priority. We aim to provide a gentle and comfortable experience for your child.
Child Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS)
Marriott & Hand are proud to offer our patients bulk billing options for eligible children through the CDBS. This scheme allows eligible children aged 2-17 up to $700 in general dental services. For more information, and to find out if your child is eligible for the scheme, visit our CDBS page here.
Tips for your family dental care
The Marriott and Hand team are always willing to give specific advice and tips for helping your children enjoy their maintenance routine and dental visits.
Here are some helpful tips to try in the meantime:
- Start cleaning your baby’s teeth with a soft toothbrush as soon as their first tooth appears
- Avoid letting toddlers sip juice in their bottles throughout the day – reduce this to meal times
- Play games and activities about teeth, the dentist or brushing and flossing
- Speak to them about the dentist as a positive experience
- Bring your toddler to see us at Marriott and Hand before they reach the age of two
Yes, babies and toddlers can develop tooth decay. In fact, the enamel that strengthens and protects the teeth is much thinner and softer on baby or milk teeth, which means that there is a greater risk of developing decay when children consume foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Bacteria in the mouth feed on these sugars and produce acid that leads to decay.
It is also possible for babies to develop a condition known as “baby bottle decay”. This can occur when babies are put to sleep with a bottle of milk, or given juice to sip throughout the day. Drinks can pool in your baby’s mouth while they sleep and lead to damage.
Yes, it’s important that you bring your child in for their first dental check-up by the age of two. This helps us to assess the growth and development of your child’s teeth and pick up on signs of “baby bottle decay” as early as possible.
There are so many types of toothbrushes on the market and choosing the right one for your child can be quite confusing. Pick one that is designed for your child’s age, is easy to use and one that they will enjoy using twice a day.
A toothbrush should fit easily in their mouth and have soft bristles made of a round-ended or polished material. This material will get your child’s teeth clean without being too harsh on the gums.
Did you know that the majority of tooth decay in children actually occurs between the teeth? If you could floss your child’s back teeth every day from four years of age, they would be at extremely low risk for tooth decay.
Children lack the manual dexterity to be able to use floss on themselves but a good diet and good toothbrushing will keep much at bay! However, if you wanted “to go the extra mile” and use floss on your own children, it really improves their chances of a decay free set of teeth!
Here at Marriott & Hand, we recommend bringing in your child six months after the eruption of their first tooth. We also encourage parents to incorporate their child’s first dental visit with your own active maintenance appointment. That way, your child will feel more relaxed and comfortable after seeing mum or dad have their teeth examined first.
Yes, we offer our patients bulk billing options for eligible children through the Child Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS). This scheme allows eligible children between the ages of two and 17 up to $1000 in general dental services over a two year period.
Children’s Dentistry Melbourne
If you are looking for a family dentist to provide gentle and caring treatments for your children, contact Marriott and Hand today to organise an appointment.