Frequently Asked Questions

Van Der Walt Dental - FAQ

How much will it cost?

Our fees are set in line with the costs of providing excellence in quality dental health care. Having said this, at your first appointment, a treatment plan will be prepared for you outlining the optimal treatment for you with details of all costs and number of appointments required.

Why are baby teeth important?

There are a variety of reasons:

  • To enable normal development of the jaw and permanent teeth.
  • To maintain space for permanent teeth.
  • To assist development of good speech including the "s" sound.
  • To develop a positive self image.
  • Keeping deciduous teeth healthy have other benefits including freedom from pain and discomfort, as well as financial savings.

How do i get my children to brush?

A common method that we have adopted is to use a brushing reward chart. Using a colourful chart to motivate children to bring about behaviour change is often used by paediatric psychologists. Brushing reward charts are available from the surgery for free to our patients.

By using our large colourful charts short, medium and long term rewards can be negotiated within a family with visible progress able to be plotted.

Children are also strong imitators of parents. If a child is able to follow a parents behaviour it is strongly reinforced - for example, brushing together after breakfast.

If fruit is healthy, whats wrong with juice?

Before answering this question, lets diverge into saliva. Saliva provides the lubrication, acid buffering components and minerals to keep teeth strong. When we chew on a piece of fruit the taste of the fruit stimulates the taste buds and the physical action of mastication forces saliva to flow. This forced saliva is higher in phosphates, calcium etc than saliva resting in our mouth. When we drink fruit juice, this forced saliva isn't made, hence the acid and sugar in fruit juice (100% natural or added/reconstituted juice) is able to damage teeth.

If we are even mildly dehydrated our saliva is compromised, hence drinking juice as a water replacement is not recommended.

It has been said that people who live in sub tropical climate, this includes Bundaberg, often can aclimatise to living at only 80% hydration. We now know that if our body fluid level drops as little as 3% our saliva flow can be affected.

Please include a piece of fruit in your child's lunchbox, not a popper (of juice)

Why does it seem my child's second teeth are more yellow?

Parents often ask this in the surgery, also adding "are they not brushing as well as they should be?" In times gone by baby teeth were called 'milk teeth' because of their colour likeness.

Adult teeth do seem darker especially when they are able to be directly compared to an adjacent baby tooth. This is thought to be a good sign as there are greater deposits of minerals and salts in the adult enamel. Thicker enamel means that there is less translucency which leads to a darker colour. This strength allows the adult teeth to last a lot longer than baby teeth.

Sometimes it is because growing children slacken off in their brushing and may need a scale and clean.

When are teeth supposed to erupt?

Teeth erupt in a generalised pattern and each child is a little different. The chart below is an excellent guideline..... but remember, babies or children have not seen this chart! If you have any concerns please feel free to ask.

These charts are a general guideline only as to the approximate ages when teeth may appear in the mouth. Each child is an individual and may be faster or slower in their dental development than shown in this chart. If you are concerned about slow dental development or eruption times that appear out of sequence please consult your Dentist or Dental Therapist.

My childs permanent teeth are erupting while the baby teeth are there. What do I do?

In some cases it may be safe to leave them to naturally exfoliate, but more often than not the underlying cause of why this happened needs investigating.

Most of the time over retained baby teeth are often linked to an over crowded mouth that may need orthodontic treatment at a later stage.

If the baby tooth can fall out naturally without causing any forseen problems (ie displacement of adult teeth, trauma to gingivae, abnormal wear of teeth) it will often be left, but with a program of regular reviews to maintain safety.

It is definitely advised to seek advise sooner rather than later as these problems rarely correct themselves.