Children’s Dentistry & Medicare
Looking after your child’s teeth is crucial in ensuring they have good oral health in their adult life, and can prevent a whole range of issues such as cavities, poor gum health and worn or broken teeth. A good place to start will be setting an example for your child by taking care of your own teeth, and getting them into the routine of a 6-monthly check up at a young age. This allows dental visits to feel familiar, so that visiting a dentist isn’t such a scary thought in the future. Check the eruption charts below for a reference on teeth growth and development and check out our blog post on “Twice-daily brushing for children made easy”
When should I take my child to the dentist?
Your child’s first dental visit should take place after his/her first tooth appears but no later than their first birthday. This is a great time for dentists to examine your baby’s dental health and to go over diet and care advice with you. As soon as teeth start erupting your child is at risk of developing cavities.
During the first dental visit, our dentists like to make it a fun experience. We like to have mum and dad involved making your children as comfortable as they can be. It is generally involves a look in the mouth and some small rewards like stickers to associate dental visits with something fun, increasing their willingness to visit the dentist in the future.
What happens if my child needs a filling?
Kids can easily pick up anxiety in their parents, so try to keep it light-hearted and avoid using negative words such as ‘needle’, ‘pain’ or ‘drill’. We find the best way to prepare your children for their first filling is to help them have full trust in their dentist and to associate a dental visit with something fun afterwards. Our dentists will often tell stories and use painless anaesthesia to guide them through their appointment.
For cases where multiple cavities are found, happy gas can be used on-site to assist the appointment or a referral to a Paediatric Dentist for treatment under General Anaesthetic can be organised.
How do I know if my child needs braces?
Orthodontic screening forms a part of our regular dental check-ups. At different stages of their development, the growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws will be examined. Your dentist will advise the best timing for orthodontic treatment, which can then be carried out either in our office or with a referral to a specialist.
Medicare Child Dental Benefits Scheme
The Child Dental Benefits Scheme was introduced by Medicare in January 2014.
For eligible children between 2-17 years old, it covers up to $1000 in benefits for any basic dental treatment for over two consecutive calendar years. The eligibility will be predetermined at the start of each calendar year. If you are unsure about your eligibility we can help you with any enquiries. Alternatively, you may call Medicare general enquires.
Some of the services that will receive benefits under the Child Dental Benefits Scheme include: check-up, cleaning, X-rays, fissure sealing, fillings, extractions, root canal therapy, happy gas and partial dentures. Cosmetic or orthodontic treatments are not included in the scheme.