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It Starts With a Smile.

Children's Dentistry

children's dentist DrummoyneIt is important that good oral health and hygiene practices be developed at a young age.  Helping your child develop good oral health habits early will go a long way in ensuring that their smiles last a lifetime.

First Visit to the Dentist

Drummoyne dentist for childrenA common question we hear asked by most parents is “When should I bring my child in for their first dental visit?”

Baby teeth are important as they retain space for the permanent adult teeth to grow through straight. 

Your child should be brought in for their first visit when their first baby teeth start to erupt - this can be as early as 10-12 months.  Dental decay can occur in children as young as 1 year old.  For example, nursing decay can result from allowing your baby to suck on a bottle of milk or sweetened juice for long periods throughout the day or during the night. Baby teeth should be cleaned as soon as they appear with a wet gauze or washcloth. From the age of 18 months, a child's toothpaste (low fluoride) can be used.

At their first dental visit, our dentists at Concord Dental Practice will look at the number and alignment of their baby teeth, and note any discolouration or signs of decay, as well as general plaque levels.  The first visit is great opportunity for parents to learn about their child’s dental health and allows discussion of how to care for an infant's mouth, proper use of fluoride, oral habits to monitor (eg. thumb sucking, tongue thrusting), teething and diet.

At Concord Dental Practice, our dentists, therapist and the entire team love children and will practice in different ways to cater to their needs. We also have happy gas available to help treat the more anxious patient.

X-rays and Early Treatment of Decay

Once all the primary molar teeth erupt into your child's mouth (usually between the ages of 4 and 6), it becomes very difficult to diagnose decay. X-rays enable our clinicians at Concord Dental Practice to detect decay, in its early stages, to avoid further problems later on. We use digital x-rays at Concord Dental Practice, which remarkably reduces the amount of radiation our patients are exposed to. 

Unfortunately, unlike in adult teeth, in baby teeth, decay spreads rapidly, and it doesn't take long before the nerve becomes infected by bacteria. Decay that is detected early can generally be treated with simple fillings, however, if much larger, a pulpotomy and stainless steel crown may be indicated. 

Pulpotomy and Stainless Steel Crowns

A pulpotomy is required when the decay affecting the baby tooth is very large, and there may have already been some bacterial contamination of the nerve. A pulpotomy aims to treat this infected part of the nerve by removing it, treating it with medication, and then sealing the area off.

A stainless steel crown provides the best long term protection of the nerve, as well as supports the tooth against breakdown. 

Early Loss of Primary Teeth

Primary teeth are exfoliated in a particular sequence to allow for harmonious eruption of the adult teeth, which reduces the likelihood of crowded teeth. If a primary tooth is lost early due to dental decay or abscess, adjacent teeth in the area will move, closing the space available.

Our dentists at Concord Dental Practice may offer the option of a space maintainer, which keeps adjacent teeth from moving into this very important space. Once the adult tooth is seen to be coming through, the space maintainer can then be removed, to allow for normal eruption to occur. 

Fissure Sealants

Fissure sealants may be indicated if your child has molar teeth with deep grooves. These grooves can be very difficult to clean, and are a high risk area for decay to occur. Rather than wait for decay to happen, our clinicians at Concord Dental Practice may offer to seal them off instead wtih preventive fissure sealants. This facilitates toothbrushing and ensures that no plaque or bacteria is left behind. 

Low Fluoride Toothpaste 500ppm

Fluoride has been shown to have many beneficial effects for our teeth. If fluoride is incorporated during teeth formation, our teeth are strengthened and more resilient against dental decay. Up until the age of 6 years, our adult teeth are developing, and although some fluoride is advantageous, too much fluoride can disturb tooth formation, resulting in discolouration and mottling. Medications ingested during this age can have a similar effect. Therefore it is important that during this time, only low fluoride toothpastes are used to avoid excessive fluoride ingestion. Encouraging your child to spit, rather than swallow toothpaste, also helps to avoid this issue. 

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

We have nitrous oxide available at Concord Dental Practice to help children relax and keep calm if they are feeling a little nervous about treatment.  Nitrous oxide is fantastic to ease both pain and anxiety.  The nitrous gas is short acting and it's effects will wear off relatively quickly once the gas has been switched off, so that your child can quickly get back to their usual activities.

Early Orthodontics

If crowded teeth is noted in a young child, a removable plate can be used to expand the dental arches or maintain premolar spaces so as to avoid the need for dental extractions later on.  Orthodontic fixed braces may follow. Early intervention care is usually achieved initially with simple removable plates. Treatment is often continued until all the teeth have erupted, and fixed braces are then utilised to complete the dental alignment.


mouthguards at Drummoyne dentistEvery year, thousands of children are treated for dental injuries, which could have been prevented, or the severity minimised, by the use of a protective sports mouthguard.  Anyone who participates in a sport that carries risk of contact to the face (examples include football and boxing) should wear a mouthguard.  A mouthguard helps absorb the shock experienced by a blow to the face, which might otherwise result in an injury to the mouth or jaw.

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends that only a professionally custom-fitted mouthguard should be worn and that self-fitted, over the counter mouthguards are inadequate for effective protection. A  professionally-fitted custom mouthguard is essential for superior protection.  The lifetime cost of a dental injury justifies the intial expense of a good quality mouthguard to prevent injury in the first place.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule is a dental benefits program available for children aged 2-17, that provides up to $1000 in benefits to your child for basic dental services, over 2 consecutive calendar years.

Benefits will cover a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions.

At the time of the appointment, your dentist or hygiene therapist here at Concord Dental Practice will perform a thorough examination, including the use of two x-rays, to determine if any treatment is required. A detailed treatment plan for your child, outlining treatment required as well as associated costs, will be provided to you. A scale and clean with fluoride treatment can also be carried out on the same day.

At the end of the appointment, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form, to confirm that the proposed treatment plan, including associated treatment costs, has been appropriately communicated to you.

We do not bulk bill at Concord Dental Practice. In order to maintain the high quality and standard of our treatment, materials and services, there will be a small out of pocket fee for some treatment items.

This will all be communicated appropriately to you, so there are no surprises at the end of each appointment.

The Australian Dental Association recommends children visit a dentist within 6 months, and no later than 12 months, of their first tooth appearing.