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Dr.Sarah Aalders

When Should My Child First Visit the Dentist?

Some children come in to see our doctors at Dr.Sarah's Specialist Dental Centre as early as six months, when you can see your baby's first tooth coming in. We can diagnose and help prevent any future oral disorders, answer your questions

Other parents may already be aware of proper home care and eruption patterns of their infant's primary teeth, and may not have any concerns this early. These parents may wait until their child is old enough to understand and communicate with us, maybe a toddler of age two or three. Usually all your child's primary teeth are erupted by age two or three, and this is a great time to introduce them to our office in a positive way. After making your child feel comfortable, we will examine their mouth. The examination will include the teeth, gums, tongue, lips and roof of the mouth. We usually wait until between the ages of four and six on taking x-rays to detect cavities, unless there is an exceptional circumstance.

X-rays are also helpful to determine normal development of permanent teeth. We may also clean your child's teeth and apply fluoride as early as age 3. It all depends on how your child feels about it. Children are ready at different ages.

What Can I Do And Say To Prepare My Child For Their First Visit?
Your attitude, expressions, and vocabulary can convey the message that going to the dentist is a fun, and exciting adventure. Emphasize the attention that your child will get while in the chair and all the exciting things they will see. Try to schedule the appointment for the time of day when your child is most rested and cooperative, we find early morning appointments or right after lunch work the best. You can help prepare your child by reading a story or watching a video about a trip to the dentist or even playing dentist with a flashlight and looking in each other's mouth. We will take digital photos of your childs teeth and paint them to show any plaque. If any procedures are necessary we have some DVDs they can watch during treatment or you are welcome to bring one of your childs favorites.

Some Important Tips From Dr. Sarah:

1. It is very important to maintain a consistent daily oral care program with your child as soon as their first tooth appears. After every feeding, wipe your child's gums with a warm, wet terry washcloth, small gauze pad, or a finger cot (available at most Pharmacies). This removes excess food and bacteria to help prevent caries. Once more teeth start to appear, brush them with the smallest, soft-bristled toothbrush you can find, and do not introduce toothpaste yet. They will just swallow it may make them sick.

2. If your child falls down, and experiences trauma to their lips, teeth, or tongue, please bring them in as soon as possible to have one of our dentists check the area. If a tooth is knocked out, you must act quickly! If it is a permanent tooth, place the tooth in some cold milk, and get to a Dentist immediately.(no need to make an appointment unless it is out of our normal working hours, Sun to Thurs 7am to 10pm and Sat 8am to 4 pm. If the clinic is closed call 5581 9591. If the tooth can be cleaned off properly and placed within your child's mouth within 30 minutes, it has a fair chance of taking root again. It is hard to say what will happen to the tooth in the future.

3. Your child only requires a pea-sized dot of fluoride(500-750ppm) toothpaste to brush with. Fluoride will help strengthen the teeth against decay. Chose the toothbrush size that is adapted to your child's age. (eg Oral B have 4 stages)

4. Do not put your child to bed with a bottle filled with milk, fruit juice, or formula. These substances will sit on your child's teeth while they are sleeping and cause decay, which can lead to tooth loss. This is known as Baby Bottle Syndrome. Only give your infant water in a bottle at bedtime. Primary teeth are very soft compared to adult teeth, and decay can run rampant through your child's mouth

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5. A balanced diet is essential for a child's development. Teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth will benefit from a regular variety of healthy foods. Your child's diet should include foods from all the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, breads/grains, milk products, and meat/poultry, or fish. Foods high in sugar and starchy snacks increase the chance of decay.

If your child does end up having to lose a primary tooth prematurely, we will need to place a Lower Holding Arch as illustrated below on the left. This must remain in place until the adult tooth begins to erupt in the space properly.

Drifting Teeth Blocking Space For Adult Tooth To Erupt Into

If the tooth is severely decayed, and will not hold a filling material once all the decay is removed, we may need to place a Stainless Steel Crown over top of the tooth until it falls out. This is illustrated below and to the left. This allows the child to still use the tooth for chewing, and maintains the space for the adult tooth to erupt properly.

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Pit and Fissure Sealants
When your child's first permanent molars, usually about age six, begin to erupt, you should consider placing sealants on the chewing surface to protect your child's back teeth from decay. In some cases, we might also recommend applying sealants to primary teeth as well. We will thoroughly clean the tooth, then apply a blue gel to help the material stick to the tooth, followed with a thin plastic coating that is light cured. This plastic coating will "seal" the deep grooves and fissures on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

Tooth Eruption Patterns


Primary (Baby) Teeth Appear
Permanent (Adult) Teeth Appear
Upper Teeth
Upper Teeth

Central Incisors: 6-8 Months
Lateral Incisors: 9-13 Months
Cuspids: 16-22 Months
First Molars: 3-19 Months
Second Molars: 25-33 Months

Central Incisors: 7-8 Years
Lateral Incisors: 8-9 Years
Cuspids: 11-12 Years
First Bicuspids: 10-11 Years
Second Bicuspids: 10-12 Years
First Molars: 6-7 Years
Second Molars: 12-13 Years
Third Molar (Wisdom Teeth): 17-21 Years

Lower Teeth
Lower Teeth

Second Molars: 23-31 months
First Molars: 14-18 Months
Cuspids: 17-23 Months
Lateral Incisors: 10-16 Months
Central Incisors: 6-10 Months

Central Incisors: 6-7 Years
Lateral Incisors: 7-8 Years
Cuspids: 9-10 Years
First Bicuspids: 10-12 Years
Second Bicuspids: 11-12 Years
First Molars: 6-7 Years
Second Molars: 11-13 Years
Third Molar (Wisdom Teeth): 17-21 Years

  Dr.Sarah's Specialist Dental Centre
4460 6058, 4460 6059
4460 6031

  British International Dental Centre
4411 7755, 4411 7744
4411 7733

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