When should I take my child to the dentist?
Making visiting the dentist part of your child’s normal routine helps to develop positive associations with dental care that can last a lifetime.
When your child feels comfortable and relaxed in the dentist’s chair, there’s less risk of them avoiding oral examinations later in life and putting their oral health at risk.
What age should dental care begin?
Oral care needs to begin at home as soon as your child grows their first teeth, usually around six months. Primary teeth (‘milk teeth’) are just as vulnerable to decay as adult teeth, and making sure your child’s teeth are clean – and learning how to spot signs of decay – will help to keep their mouths healthy.
Children should have their first oral health assessment by their second birthday, by which time they will usually have all their primary teeth.
How often should my child visit the dentist?
Your dentist will recommend the ideal interval for your child’s routine check-ups. This will depend on the condition of their teeth and whether they are at risk of developing oral health problems.
By the time their permanent teeth start to come through (age six or seven), they should start to see the dentist every six months.
Bringing your child along to your own dental appointments can help them get used to the clinic environment.
How can I prepare for their appointment?
Talking to your child about what to expect during their dental appointment could help them to feel calm or even excited about the new experience. Tracking down video clips or episodes from their favourite TV shows in which characters visit the dentist can help to build these feelings further.
Try to schedule your appointment for the morning, so your child will be at their most alert, and at a time when they won’t feel hungry. Arriving a little early will give them a chance to settle in before they see the dentist.
What happens during their check-up?
Oral health assessments for young children usually involve a visual examination only. The dentist will count your child’s teeth and check their teeth and gums for any signs of decay and other conditions.
Children’s dental check-ups have a b focus on patient education. Both the child and the parent will be advised on the right ways to keep their mouths healthy, so you can make sure they’re brushing correctly and getting the nutrition their teeth need.
After your child grows their permanent teeth, their dentist may start to use dental x-rays. This allows dentists to get a more detailed look at their mouths and start to plan any orthodontic treatment that may be needed. Modern dental x-rays use very low levels of radiation and are completely safe for all ages.
Can I get help with dental costs?
Children aged 2–12 years whose families receive Medicare, Family Tax Benefit Part A or other eligible Australian Government payments are entitled to free basic dental care through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).
This includes examinations, teeth cleaning, x-rays and general treatments like fillings, root canals and extractions up to $1000 across two calendar years.
Make an appointment in Melbourne
Is your child due for their first oral health assessment? We welcome new patients of all ages at All Day EveryDay Dental clinics in Brunswick and Kew.
Call us (03) 9853 1811 or find out more about our clinics.