When should children first be seen? Are there any other reasons for seeing a child at an early age?
At Gentle Dental, we try to encourage children to be seen as early as possible. This has the effect of getting them used to the environment and reducing their concerns about a new experience.
Occasionally we have to see very young children who have fallen and damaged their teeth, and it is much easier to treat a distressed child if he or she is familiar with the surroundings.
What will you do on the first visit?
This very much depends on the age and confidence of the child. Most children tend to sit on mother’s or father’s knee and we quickly inspect their teeth. For a nervous child, we may just simply present them with a sticker for coming, but a more confident child may ride the dental chair and even have the front teeth polished.
In order to make the visit fun we have an award-winning outdoor play castle as well as a comfortable and fun indoor play area for your child to relax before and after their appointment.
Should any treatment be required, this is almost always re-booked for a following appointment.
Children’s teeth are much smaller and thinner than adult teeth. A cavity in a child’s tooth that wouldn’t even trouble an adult can quickly cause nerve damage and dental pain, so we do like to see children at a maximum of six monthly visits and sometimes less. Our prime objective, however is to ensure that the seeds of prevention are sown at an early stage. A child with good dental habits and healthy teeth might turn into an adult that never needs a filling!
Special points of interest:
Children’s teeth can be damaged much more quickly than adult teeth
Decay is not inevitable, if the diet is healthy
We reward children
We will not force children to have treatment – merely try to persuade them
A children’s toothpaste should be used until the child can spit out properly
What can I do to improve my child’s teeth?
The main thing that a parent can do is to ensure that the child has a healthy diet and is cleaning the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. Until the child is able to spit out the toothpaste properly, we would suggest that they use one of the specialist fluoride toothpastes for children. This should prevent them getting too much fluoride, which can mark the teeth.
Sticky or chewy sweets should be avoided and fizzy drinks should only be taken in moderate amounts. Try to get the sugar free versions (not the low sugar) of the popular squashes etc.
What sort of treatments might they need? What if they really don’t want treatment?
Generally fillings in deciduous (milk) teeth are usually quite quick to do. (They are very small teeth after all). Often, with a co-operative child and a small cavity it may not even be necessary to use local anaesthetic. For adult teeth, or for larger fillings, local anaesthetic will usually be used. We do use, however, topical gels in order to keep discomfort to a minimum.
We can get all adult teeth protected with a sealant, which will go a long way towards protecting the vulnerable parts of the back teeth.
Diet advice and oral hygiene advice may also be required in some cases. Generally orthodontics (braces) aren’t usually started until all the deciduous teeth are lost, which isn’t usually until the child is about thirteen. There are some cases, however when treatment may be started as early as seven years of age.
At Gentle Dental, we work closely with the local consultant orthodontist, or have the Smilalign invisible brace system along with Fastbraces and Inman aligners to ensure that all appropriate treatment can be provided for your child.
We will not force children to have treatment that they refuse to have. We have found that reasoning with a child is by far the best way to get them to co-operate with the treatment. This will sometimes mean temporising teeth until the child is amenable to treatment.
Remember to visit the
Check-ups should be fun!
“The key to success is a healthy diet and good oral hygiene”
We are happy to see children for their treatment under either the NHS, under Private contract or under the Denplan plans for children scheme.
Plans for children offers you:
The ability for your dentist to tailor your child’s care for an agreed monthly payment. So your child can benefit from high standards of care in a way that helps you manage your household budget
The ability for your dentist to have the flexibility to decide the best possible treatment for your child without being restricted to procedures funded under the NHS
More regular visits to encourage your child to gain confidence in visiting the dentist and allow them to ask questions relating to their dental health
Parental Factsheets and Children’s Activity Sheets available from your dentist, which will help your child learn good dental habits in a fun way
The chance for your child to be registered onto a children’s plan where the Supplementary Insurance and Denplan’s Insurance Services are also included. This valuable benefit means that emergency treatment costs can be covered up to policy limits
A good start in the early years makes all the difference
We regularly visit local schools and organize an annual visit from Father Christmas to try to keep our child patients engaged and entertained