Childrens Dentistry

Check out our most frequently asked questions below:

  • At what stage should my child first attend the dentist?

    Children should have their teeth checked by a dentist as soon as they begin to erupt. It is usually useful if the attend at the parents routine exam appointments to familiarise them with the surroundings.

    The main aim of early dental contact is to start your child off with a lifetime of good oral health & hygiene habits and a relaxed and positive attitude towards visiting the dentist.

  • What should I and my child expect on the first visit?

    Our first visit aims to meet you (the parent or guardian) and your child, while introducing you to our child-friendly dental environment.

    We prefer the initial contact to be a chance to get to know your child, examine the teeth, carry out x-rays if necessary and develop an individual treatment plan based on your child’s need and developmental stage.

    For your child’s first visit, it is best for the parent to explain beforehand that during this examination all we will do is count the child’s teeth, and to avoid using emotive phrases such as “it won’t hurt” to describe what we do. Often children who are very anxious on the first visit return for treatment full of confidence and cope really well following a positive, gentle introduction.

    We will also assess your child’s coping abilities and determine how best to approach treatment to ensure your child manages well, depending on treatment complexity, previous experience, age and development.

  • Why visit a dentist if my child has their baby teeth, will they not just fall out?

    Primary or ‘baby’ teeth are weaker than adult teeth as they have a much thinner layer of enamel. Because of this, they can be more susceptible to decay and erosion. Primary teeth are important for many reasons. They help children speak clearly and chew naturally, but also maintain the space for when the permanent successor tooth erupts. Children start losing baby teeth from the age of six years, but the last primary molar teeth are not lost until 10-12 years of age. If a cavity is not filled, this can lead to pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth. This in turn can lead to space loss and perhaps create orthodontic problems in the future.

    Prevention is ALWAYS better than treatment. Diet advice is essential as many foods that seem healthy can be very damaging to teeth. Also early advice on soother use & thumb sucking can save a lot of future problems.

  • How do I brush my child's teeth properly?

    Teeth should be brushed for two minutes twice a day: after breakfast and last thing before bed for 2-3 minutes

    Toothpaste should be left on teeth to have best action – spit don’t rinse out

    You may want to supervise your children until they get the hang of these simple steps:

    Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste for children under 3 years of age and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children over 3 years of age. Take care that your child does not swallow the toothpaste. Your dentist can advise on the correct amount of fluoride for your childs toothpaste.

    Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush the inside surface of each tooth first, where plaque may accumulate most. Brush gently back and forth.

    Clean the outer surfaces of each tooth. Angle the brush along the outer gum line. Gently brush back and forth.

    Brush the chewing surface of each tooth. Gently brush back and forth.

    Use the tip of the brush to clean behind each front tooth, both top and bottom. Don’t forget the tongue-it’s always fun to brush!

  • Should I use a specialised tooth paste on my child?

    From when your child’s first tooth erupts until eighteen months brush their teeth with only water, no toothpaste.

    Between the ages of 18 month and six years toothpaste should contain at least 1000ppm sodium fluoride (check the ingredients) to have a preventive effect.

    Children from the age of seven can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350-1,500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Check the toothpaste packet if you’re not sure, or ask your dentist at your child’s check up.

  • How can I prevent my child in developing cavities?

    Dental cavities are preventable with good diet habits and tooth brushing routine. Many foods that seem healthy can be damaging to teeth!

    It is impossible to cut out all treats but with a few changes your child’s teeth can be much happier and healthier

    Decrease the frequency of eating – keep treats to mealtimes

    Avoid treats that last a long time e.g. jellies & lollipops! Chocolate doesn’t last quite as long. Raisins with natural sugars stick like toffee in teeth – be aware!

    Milk & water are the only really tooth-safe drinks. Even ‘no added sugar’ juices contain natural sugars –Water only after the night-time brush – not milk

    Replace snacks with healthy alternatives – ask your dentist for more advice or examples

  • How do I know if my child has tooth decay?

    Decay happens when sugars in food and drinks react with the bacteria in plaque, forming acids. Decay damages your teeth and may lead to the tooth needing to be filled or even taken out.

    In the early stages of dental decay there are no symptoms, but your dental team may be able to spot a cavity in its early stages when they examine or x-ray your child’s teeth .Once the cavity has reached the dentine the tooth may become sensitive, particularly when they have sweet foods and drinks, and acidic or hot foods. As the decay gets near the dental pulp they may suffer from toothache. You may also see brown or white spots on the tooth surfaces.

    For this reason, it is important that your child visits the dentist, as often as they recommend

  • What are fissure sealants?

    Fissure sealants are clear or coloured plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back permanent teeth, where decay occurs most often. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth which are hard to clean, and prevent food particles from getting caught, possibly causing cavities. They are quick and comfortable to apply, and can effectively protect teeth for 5-10 years.

  • When should my child get fissure sealants?

    Fissure sealants can be done once your child’s permanent back teeth have started to come through (usually at the age of about six or seven) to protect them from decay

    When will I know if my child will require braces in the future?

    The majority of children who may need braces don’t need to visit the orthodontist until all of their permanent teeth have erupted – at 11-13 years. Some children benefit from earlier intervention – your dentist will let you know at your child’s regular check-up.

    There are some specific signs that your child may need braces, including: crooked or overlapping teeth, overly crowded teeth, losing baby teeth too soon, or malocclusion — a fancy word for when a child has a poor bite because of a difference in the size of the top and bottom jawbone.

  • What should I do if my child chips/breaks or knocks out a tooth?

    With any injury to your child’s mouth, you should contact our dentist immediately. Our dentist will want to examine the affected area and determine appropriate treatment.

    If your child is in pain from a broken, cracked or chipped tooth, you should visit our dentist immediately. You may want to give an over-the-counter pain reliever to your child until his/her appointment. If possible, keep any part of the tooth that has broken off and take this with you to our dentist.

    If a tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth by an injury, take the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible. Handle the tooth as little as possible-do not wipe or otherwise clean the tooth. Store the tooth in a cup of fresh milk (never ever store it in tap water or wash/wipe it clean) until you get to a dentist. It may be possible for the tooth to be placed back into your child’s mouth, a procedure called re-implantation.

  • When will I know if my child will require braces in the future?

    The majority of children who may need braces don’t need to visit the orthodontist until all of their permanent teeth have erupted – at 11-13 years. Some children benefit from earlier intervention – your dentist will let you know at your child’s regular check-up.

    There are some specific signs that your child may need braces, including: crooked or overlapping teeth, overly crowded teeth, losing baby teeth too soon, or malocclusion — a fancy word for when a child has a poor bite because of a difference in the size of the top and bottom jawbone.

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