We love little smiles... and they love us!
We love little smiles, and they love us! Early dental experiences are the building blocks for a lifetime of good oral health. At Freedom Dental, we believe this should be made as fun, educational and easy as possible! Good dental habits start young, therefore prevention of dental problems are a priority for us. Our skilled and super friendly Oral Health Therapists, will provide a customised preventative regime and treatment plan based on your child’s needs.
Your little ones will be pampered with little luxuries such as reward stickers, show-bags and an invitation to watch their favourite show during their treatment. Our team will teach them about dental care in a way they can understand, using positive, kind and encouraging language to set them on the path to great oral health.
Our Oral Health Therpists and Dentists are here to help your family every step of the way, from the moment the little ones get their first tooth right through to adulthood.
Is your child afraid of the Dentist? Helping kids overcome their fear of the dentist is something we are extremely passionate about. Dental phobias or even nervousness amongst children is fairly common. Rest assured that our team are well trained in helping sooth your child into a positive dental experience. We will work with you using a number of techniques, ranging from positive reinforcement, distraction techniques and play therapy. In the event these offer no relief, we are able to offer other solutions methods such as sedation dentistry. Helping your child master their fear of the dentist is beneficial to their physical health and as importantly their mental health. After all, giving your child the best dental experience possible is an investment into their future oral health.
What children's dental treatments do we offer?
From fillings to extractions, our dentists can offer many of the same treatments for children as we can for adults. However, there are certain treatments we may recommend for younger patients to help protect their oral health at this important time.
Children are at higher risk of tooth decay than adults, as their teeth are still growing and the enamel is thinner, providing less of a barrier to plaque. That’s why it’s important that you discourage your child from having too many sugary snacks and drinks. If you’re worried about tooth decay, we can help to strengthen your child’s baby teeth by applying fissure sealants. These fill in the fissures on the chewing surfaces of their teeth, keeping out food particles that could get trapped inside and lead to cavities. This procedure is fast and shouldn’t be painful. It can help protect your child’s teeth for many years.
If your child has a misaligned bite or crooked teeth, their orthodontic treatment may be easier if it begins in childhood. We’ll monitor the development of your child’s teeth and jaws every time they come in for their regular check-up, and if we notice any signs that their bite may be out of alignment, we may recommend an appropriate orthodontic treatment. While braces are typically associated with teenagers, orthodontic treatment can begin around age 8 to 9, by which time a child’s first permanent teeth have usually come through and their dentist may start to use dental x-rays to diagnose any possible crowding or bite problems.
Custom-fitted sports mouthguards
All children should be encouraged to play sport to help them stay fit and active, but the flip side is that many sports put their mouth at risk of injury. We recommend that your child wears a custom-fitted sports mouthguard when playing any contact sports such as rugby, soccer and hockey, as well as other activities like skateboarding. We can provide custom-fitted mouthguards made from soft plastic that help protect their teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports-related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard offers significantly more protection than one bought from a store.
Milestones of your child's oral health journey
Most babies get their first tooth at around 6 months, but some can be as early as 3 months while others can take over 12 months to sprout. Then it’s a long road until they grow all their primary teeth (baby teeth), usually by the age of 3 years.
Teething can be a difficult time for babies and parents, with sore, swollen gums giving the little ones plenty to cry about. Teething toys and cold, soft food such as yoghurt can help to ease this discomfort, and some babies respond well to having their gums gently rubbed.
If you’re finding it hard to comfort your child, bring them in for a check-up. Our child-friendly team will check that their teeth are developing normally and we may be able to prescribe a pain relief gel that can be rubbed onto their gums.
Starting to brush
One of the most common questions parents ask us is when they should start to brush their child’s teeth. We recommend that you start as soon as their first teeth come through, though you shouldn’t use toothpaste until they reach the age of 2 or 3.
A soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime. Even just brushing with water will help to remove plaque bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. We can provide you with a free toothbrush suitable for your baby and replace it every six months when they come in for their routine hygiene appointment.
When a child is old enough to be taught to spit out their toothpaste rather than swallow it, they’re ready to be introduced to fluoridated toothpaste. This is usually around the age of 3. Make sure you monitor your child’s brushing and that no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is used, and encourage them to spit out the excess toothpaste after brushing. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which can damage their teeth.
Their first visit to the dentist
We recommend that your child visits us for their first appointment when they grow their first tooth, or by 1 year of age. This is the perfect time to start familiarising them with our comfortable clinic, so they should develop positive associations with dental care right from the start.
We believe in creating a positive, supportive and non-judgemental environment at Freedom Dental, and our friendly team will use encouraging language during all of your child’s visits. When they’re seated in the dentist’s chair, we’ll put on their favourite cartoons and gently count and assess their teeth. We won’t normally use dental x-rays for young children, unless their dentist feels this is necessary.
We’ll also offer advice to you and your children about how to take the best care of their teeth and what food and drink they should avoid for the benefit of their oral health.
Losing their first tooth
By the time your child’s baby teeth start falling out as their permanent teeth come through, they should be old enough that the experience is no longer distressing. And it’s not as painful as teething!
Your child will normally lose their first tooth naturally around the age of 6, the last ones around age 12 or 13. After a tooth falls out, you should encourage your child to rinse their mouth with warm water, which can also help to control any bleeding. They should also be advised not to brush too strongly when their gum is still sensitive.
If your child loses a tooth early, either due to an accident or tooth decay, you should come in to see us. It’s important to fight tooth decay even when your child still has their baby teeth, as the spread of plaque can lead to gum disease or abscesses forming. You should also contact us if your child loses their tooth naturally but their permanent tooth takes longer than 6 months to appear.
What can you expect for your child's first visit to the Dentist
Your child’s appointment is tailored to their personality and age. Expect our team to use encouraging and positive language throughout your child’s first and subsequent appointments. It’s important for our team to build trust and rapport with your child, that’s why we introduce your child to dentistry with positivity and encouragement.
Once your child is settled in-chair , we pop on their favourite cartoon. Our dental practitioner will count their teeth, teach them how to brush and if your child is over the age of two we will also perform a clean, fluoride treatment, and any necessary x-rays. We will examine your child’s face and jaw for signs of mal-alignment.
Our child friendly team will show your little one techniques to help get the length of time for effective brushing right, along with, discolouring solutions to highlight key areas to brush. For more information about children’s dental milestones click here.
Let us look after your children's oral health
At Freedom Dental our team of friendly dentists are here to help your family every step of the way, from the first appearance of teeth, to protecting them with custom fit sports mouthguards right through to adulthood.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our team is always available to answer any questions you may have about your children’s oral health. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions, but please feel free to contact us should you like to know more.
When should my little one have their first check-up?
Your child’s first visit should occur at about 12 months of age or at the first eruption of their teeth. However, it is never too late to have a first visit. You will experience our philosophy of non-judgment service and care.
How often should my child see the practitioner?
A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, we can advise about a custom plan based on your child’s oral health.
Are dental X-rays safe for my child?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. We are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
What should I do if my child falls and loses a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain composed. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown instead of the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk. Call our team for further instructions.
What should I do if my child’s tooth is chipped or fractured?
Again, remain calm and contact our team immediately. Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Rinse the mouth with water and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling. If you can find the broken tooth fragment, bring it with you to the appointment.
Are baby teeth important?
“Baby Teeth” are important because they help children chew comfortably and speak clearly. They also assist in creating the path that permanent teeth follow when they erupt.
What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
A child’s size toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime. We can provide you with a free brush suitable for your baby.
When should we use toothpaste and what amount should we use?
Prior to the ages of 2-3 you can clean your child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. At about the age of 3 you are able to introduce toothpaste in your child’s brushing routine. Ensure you observe your child and make sure that no more than a pea-sized amount is used. Encourage your child to spit out excess toothpaste after brushing.
Is thumb sucking and/or dummies harmful for my child’s teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, your dentist can discuss a plan with you.
What diet is ‘tooth friendly’ for my child?
Do your best to ensure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the aggravated area with warm salt water and rest a cold compress against the face if it is swollen. You can give them pain relief and ensure you make an appointment with our team as soon as possible.
Contact us to arrange your child's appointment
If you want to know more or if you have any enquiries about your child’s oral health, get in touch with our team at Freedom Dental. We’ll answer any questions you have and show you around our children’s facilities so you can be confident your little ones are in good hands. Contact us today.