Children should receive dental checkups starting at 2 years old. Early dental visits are beneficial, so we can help parents take care of their children’s oral health. Once they reach a certain age, we may recommend fissure sealants to protect their teeth.
Regular dental checkups for children are important. Nearly half of all 8-year-olds have visible signs of decay on their teeth, which can be prevented with proper dental care and guidance.
Start Children’s Dental Appointments Early
Once your baby has teeth, you should come to see us and learn how to properly care for your child’s oral health. We recommend a dental checkup every 6 to 12 months to make sure your child’s teeth are healthy. There are plenty of reasons to start children’s dental checkups early. Here are some top reasons to come see us.
Reduce fear of going to the dentist
Fear is a learned behaviour, perhaps picked up from parents, siblings or peers. Building familiarity with our dental team from a young age helps diminish that sense of fear. The earlier a child starts seeing the dentist, the more relaxed they are for future visits with us.
Build oral health habits
We offer paediatric dental care to teach children and parents about the importance of oral health at a young age. Showing kids and parents how to brush, floss and take care of their teeth instills good habits early. Building a foundation of excellent habits at a young age sets children up for better long-term oral health. Additionally, children who start visiting us early are more likely to have a good attitude for future dental visits.
Check tooth development and find problems early
Just as children see a doctor for checkups regarding physical development, they should visit the dentist to ensure their teeth are developing properly too. Our dentist checks your child’s gums, teeth, and bite and notices the development of the teeth and jaw. If there are any issues, we can talk about whether orthodontic treatment is needed and what that looks like going forward.
Regular visits with our dental team give us the opportunity to catch and manage problem areas early. Without dental checkups, children’s oral health issues may get worse, making treatment more involved and more expensive to fix.
For example, cavities can happen in primary teeth as well as permanent ones. At the checkup, the dental team can take X-rays to find any cavities hiding within the teeth or show any problems with the gums. Checkups allow us to start treatment right away.
What are Fissure Sealants?
The grooves on the biting surfaces of back teeth are called pits and fissures. Fissures may be small or large. Some teeth may need a fissure sealant application to prevent decay from starting in these small areas. Fissure sealant is a protective plastic coating that hardens over the tooth, reducing the chance of causing decay. Dental fissure sealant helps make it easy for children to keep their teeth clean with regular brushing and minimises tooth decay and fillings.
Fissure Sealants are Applied to Molars and Premolars
Fissures naturally occur in the teeth. During an examination, our dentist looks at the surface of your child’s teeth and notes the fissures.
Based on what they see, the dentist will advise parents which teeth would benefit from fissure sealant treatment. Fissure sealants are a safe and pain-free procedure. Our dentists apply fissure sealants to the biting surface of molars and premolars, covering all the dips and grooves in the tooth.
The Fissure Sealant Process
Fissure sealant treatment is a pain-free process. After cleaning the teeth and preparing them with a special solution, we dry the tooth and add the liquid fissure sealant. Bright light cures the sealant, helping it set hard on the teeth.
Over time, fissure sealant can wear down. Each time we see child patients for a checkup, we make sure the fissure sealant remains intact. If it needs replacing or maintenance, we can take care of that during the dental checkup.
The Age Children Need Fissure Sealants
Not every child needs fissure sealants. Our dentists determine whether a fissure is needed when their permanent teeth start to come through. The first fissure sealant treatment often happens around age 6 or 7. A second fissure sealant treatment occurs when the remaining permanent teeth appear, usually between ages 9 and 14.