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Children's Dentistry

Specialty Dental Care for Infants through to Adolescents

Let’s try to dispel some myths and provide information to help you with dental care of your children and loved ones.  We will briefly discuss, diet, behaviours and lifestyle choices to remove some anxiety and confusion with regards to what is best for your children.  After all, we all want children to have the best chances in life possible and when it comes to good dental care we’re qualified and happy to share so that little and big munchkins can grow into happy, healthy and confident adults.

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Eleven (11) things you must know about dental care for children and young adults

1. Don’t let infants sleep with the bottle.

Sleeping with the milk bottle can leave residues and sugars which can result in nursing bottle caries.  Try to avoid leaving the bottle containing milk with your children when they go to bed.  If you must leave them with a bottle   – water is preferable.

2. At what age should children visit the dentist?

In most cases, around 2 years of age would be a suitable time for your child to visit the dentist.  By this stage the baby teeth should have developed sufficiently to allow for early diagnosis of any potential need for intervention.  Naturally it would be unrealistic for many toddlers to sit still in a dentists chair for the first time, so parents are welcome to have the child sit in their lap as the examinations are being done.  Where there may be conditions such as sleep apnoea or tongue tie your dentist can provide advice and information.

3. Why should my child visit the dentist at such a young age?

At Paladin dental, we encourage children to come to the dentists early to acclimatise and encourage them towards healthy and positive dental care.  In this way, your children are more likely to feel safe and comfortable with treatments, dentists and the environment.  Between the ages of 2 yo to 5 yo, one visit to the dentist per annum should go a long way towards setting up your young ones up for life in terms of not just healthy dental hygiene and care but the habits and mindset that will serve them well as young adults.

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4. Why not wait “baby teeth” have fallen out?

The dental team at Paladin Dental strive to minimise the number and severity of dental treatments needed around the world.  This begins with early training and education.  We promote good lifestyles choices and preventive dentistry so that you can make choices around behaviours, diet and treatments that will support dental hygiene and the longevity of your teeth.  Waiting until later years may not only compromises these goals but children may need to undergo more severe treatments to correct issues that could have been diagnosed much earlier.  Quite simply, a little problem could end up becoming a major issue.

5. Should I pull out my child’s “baby teeth”?

Preferably not.  Allow them to come our naturally and if anything, they should not require anything more than their tongues to encourage removal.  There are infrequent cases where it may be necessary to intervene and if in doubt see your dentist.

6. Don’t make the dentist a bogeyman

The consequences of threatening a child with a trip to the dentist for bad behaviours or poor dietary choices is likely to create negative connotations and potentially deep seated issues that will cause children to avoid dentists and/or respond poorly to undergoing treatments.   

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More Important Facts About Children’s Dental Care Every Parent Should Know

7. How to Deal with Picky Eaters

Kids often pick up on the lifestyle choices of the family and will develop their dietary and eating habits from these cues, the environment and it’s boundaries.  As parents we want what is best for our children but can often be caught in the horns of a dilemma if we are not sufficiently informed or left without energy to deal with confrontation.  The team at Paladin Dental are here to support you and your children so don’t go it alone or without the right backup when it comes to dental care for the family.

8. Help Your Children Develop Healthy Habits for Life

More Important Facts About Children’s Dental Care Every Parent Should Know

Children can be picky and refuse to eat.  Not wanting our kids to starve, it is only natural that we may cave in and allow them to eat sub optimal foods which have been over processed or containing lots of sugar.  The facts are though, that our kids won’t willingly starve themselves to points of true desperation in most cases.  So next time they put up a battle, maybe let them go hungry and promote more whole foods such as carrots or milk but do not allow them to graze all of the time.  Also be aware, that as some fruits contain lots of sugar limit the intake of things like dried fruits, dates, candied fruits, pomegranates, cherries, bananas, grapes, oranges. figs and mangoes.  Don’t be discouraged, as kids can often hold their ground for 2 – 3 days but soon after this battle of the wills, kids often come around.  By this stage, you’ll be glad that a relatively small amount of frustration could result in such worthwhile and long lasting habits for life!

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9. Why Should I Bring My Child to the Dentist When They Have Not Lost Their Baby Teeth?

If the child has been preconditioned with fear of dentists and are unfamiliar with the environment nervousness about the unknown begins to manifest.  We have often found that kids around 7 – 8 years frequently fall into this category.  Unfortunately, infrequency of checkups and fear of the dentist may have advanced to a stage where treatments required at this stage of life are more extensive and could of been avoidable in many cases.

10. Braces or invisible aligners? 

Boys under 25 yo tend not to adhere to commitments required to ensure the success of aligners so braces are more advisable.   To enforce the success of changes desired with aligners the individual needs to apply high levels of motivation and commitment. Girls are more inclined to adhere to the routines necessary with aligners because they may be more self conscious and willing to be seek out the desired outcomes. 

11. How To Support the Success of Orthodontic Treatments.

Parents, patients and dentists need to have an open and frank discussion about orthodontic treatments in particular, as ongoing maintenance can have its challenges. Parents need to be able to relate to the condition and support the disciplines necessary in terms of habits that should exist prior to installation in terms of diet, behaviours, maintenance regimes and lifestyle choices not just quarterly cleans and checks.  Paladin Dental uses the latest and highest standard of equipment and procedures available to help deliver the best treatments and routines possible.  One such example is EMS Airflow which can a useful device to ensure optimal outcome of dental treatment.  After orthodontic treatment maintenance should not be ignored as teeth are life trees and will not necessarily stay put so if retainers are provided then they should be used.     

12. Bonus tip... the toothfairy is not a myth! We're only a phone call away.
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Holistic dental care for pre-teen children

Things to look out for with children and their sleeping patterns

It may at first blush seem odd that a dentist should discuss children’s sleeping habits.  However in order to understand and enjoy optimal health, we need to look at holistic dentistry and consider the individual and its’ environment.  We are not suggesting alternative medicine moreso the evaluation of factors that can be misread or ignored should we not be on the look out for them.

If your child displays dark circles under their eyes, restless sleep – evidenced by sheets and blankets scattered everywhere, a yearning for sugary foods, hyperactivity, tiredness during the day or falls asleep the moment they touch the pillow it is possible that they are suffering from sleep apnea. 

Observations with children under 12 yo at our dental clinic

Typically mouth breathers may have their conditions exacerbated by hay fever, allergies, or allergens causing a blocked nose and end up developing a habit of mouth breathing.  This may then form a pattern which leads to sleep apnea, a condition caused by an airway irritation which leads to obstruction which may be made worse by the tongue.  If your kids don’t sleep properly, become tired and irritable or crave sugary foods a vicious cycle may be beginning to manifest.

How a dentist can help your children sleep better

Other factors could be narrow airway openings and underdeveloped palate.  These are just a couple of structural matters that dentists can help correct with some fairly simple procedures.  In other cases, the removal of tonsils will assist in nose breathing and address the issues.  Children under 12 yo should not be constantly tired.

Signs that treatment from your dentist may be needed

Be on the look out for heavy breathing or snoring,  even when children sleep immediately, no latent sleep is not normal.  If your child sleeps with mouth open, tosses and turns a lot at night or displays any of the symptoms discussed earlier procedures may be called for to provide a better quality of sleep and long term health.  Don’t ignore the possible warning signs that could have longer term implications on your children’s health.  A visit to a qualified health professional whether it be a good dentist or physician to clarify and provide you with peace of mind is worth the trip for the sake of healthy, less stressed and happy parents –  and kids too!

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