Paediatric Dentist in Brisbane
Dr Ellie Nadian is a specialist Paediatric Dentist in Brisbane. She provides dental treatment tailored and optimised for toddlers and young children.
Signs and Symptoms Indicating a Need for a Paediatric Dentist Examination:
Changes in Appearance:
- Tooth Discolouration: Black, brown, or white spots on the teeth could indicate decay.
- Misaligned Teeth: Noticeable misalignment can affect a child's bite and oral hygiene.
- Gum Changes: Red, swollen, or bleeding gums could be signs of gum disease.
Discomfort or Pain:
- Toothache: Persistent or occasional pain in the teeth or jaws is a clear sign to visit a dentist.
- Sensitivity: Discomfort when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods may suggest tooth decay or enamel erosion.
Behavioral Shifts Related to Oral Activities:
- Avoidance of Chewing: A child avoiding chewing or favouring one side of the mouth might be experiencing dental discomfort.
- Thumb Sucking After Age 5: Prolonged thumb sucking can impact tooth and jaw development.
- Delayed Teething: If a child's teeth haven’t started erupting by the age of 12-18 months, a dental check-up is recommended.
- Loss of Baby Teeth: Unusual patterns or timings in the loss of baby teeth can warrant a professional assessment.
Recommended Age Thresholds for Observations
- First Dental Visit: By the age of 1 or within 6 months after the first tooth erupts.
- Regular Check-ups: Every six months unless advised otherwise by the dentist based on the child's needs.
Baby Tooth Discolouration
Discolouration in baby teeth, including black, brown, or white spots, can be attributed to various factors, and it's crucial to understand that not all discolourations indicate tooth decay. Here are some potential causes and steps for differentiation and action.
Tooth Decay: Often shows brown or black spots. Decay can occur due to poor oral hygiene, frequent sugary snacks, or inadequate fluoride.
Dietary Causes: Certain foods and drinks can stain teeth. For example, excessive consumption of dark-coloured beverages like juice can lead to discolouration.
Fluorosis occurs due to excessive fluoride during teeth development, leading to white streaks or spots.
Enamel Hypoplasia: A condition where the enamel is thin or absent, often appearing as white spots. It can be due to nutritional deficiencies, illnesses during infancy, or genetic factors.
Trauma: Injury to a tooth can result in a darkened tooth, indicating damage to the internal tissue.
Medications: Certain antibiotics, if taken during a child's tooth development, can cause discolouration.
Recommended Steps for Parents
Observation: Regularly check your child’s teeth for any changes in colour or appearance.
Oral Hygiene: Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including brushing with age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste.
Dietary Habits: Monitor and adjust dietary habits to reduce sugary snacks and drinks.
Dental Visit: Schedule an appointment with a paediatric dentist for a professional assessment. The dentist can differentiate between harmless variations and signs of dental issues.
Follow-up Care: Adhere to the paediatric dentist’s recommendations, which may include specific treatments, changes in oral care routine, or dietary adjustments.
Bad Smell in a Baby's Mouth
Despite regular brushing, a persistent bad smell in a baby’s mouth requires a close examination by a paediatric dental specialist.
Poor Oral Hygiene: Even with regular brushing, it’s possible that some areas are being missed, leading to plaque build-up and bad odour.
Diet: Certain foods and drinks can contribute to bad breath. For example, high-sugar diets can increase the risk of tooth decay and bad breath.
Dry Mouth: Saliva naturally cleanses the mouth. If your child isn’t producing enough saliva, this can lead to bad breath.
Oral Infections or Gum Disease: Infections in the mouth or gum diseases (uncommon in very young children, but still a possibility) can cause bad odours.
Tooth Decay: Decayed teeth can harbour bacteria and food particles, leading to bad breath.
Foreign Objects: Sometimes, young children might put small objects in their noses, which can cause an infection and a foul smell.
Medical Conditions: Conditions like sinus infections, tonsillitis, or gastrointestinal issues can also cause bad breath.
- The causes may vary with age. For example, older children are more likely to have gum disease or tooth decay, while younger children might be more prone to foreign body insertion.
- Dietary causes are more relevant for children who have started solids.
Re-evaluate Oral Hygiene: Ensure you’re brushing correctly and reaching all areas of the mouth. Consider gentle brushing of the tongue as well.
Monitor Diet: Limit sugary foods and drinks and maintain a balanced diet.
Hydration: Encourage your child to drink water regularly to maintain saliva flow.
Check for Foreign Objects: In younger children, gently check their nostrils for small objects.
Consult a Paediatric Dentist: If the bad breath persists, it's important to consult a paediatric dentist. They can assess for tooth decay, gum issues, or other dental problems.
Seek Medical Advice: If the dentist doesn’t find any dental causes, a visit to your GP might be necessary to rule out any medical conditions.
Remember, early intervention can prevent potential complications and ensure the best care for your child’s oral health. A paediatric dentist can provide tailored advice based on your child’s specific age and needs.