We offer routine examinations for children from the age of 2 years. Starting young will get children used to the dental practice environment so that they can establish a confident relationship with the dentist. Some children are not happy to sit in the chair on their own at their first visit and we will not force them to do so. Instead, they may sit on their parent’s laps or just stand so that the dentist can have a look. Sometimes we just give the child a sticker for turning up! We try to make their experience as pleasant as possible to build their confidence every time they come.
As a practice, we believe that it is vital for children to have good dental health care at an early stage in their lives to ensure that they know the importance this as it helps ensure good dental health for the rest of their lives.
Sometimes children need orthodontic treatment and for this, we will refer the child to an orthodontist. An orthodontist specialises in straightening and moving of teeth. The better positioning will improve not only appearance, but also the way that the teeth work together and how the mouth functions. Less strain is placed on the jaw-joints and the surrounding muscle tissue by spreading the workload of biting. Problems in these areas can lead to headaches and joint problems like clicking jaw. Oral health is also greatly improved because straight teeth are much easier to keep clean!
We offer free check-up appointments twice a year for children under 8 years old when the parents are registered with our practice.
Older children have an option of a check-up at our special children’s rate or they can also have a Denplan dental care plan of their own.
Children on the Child Dental Care Plan will receive checkups and free fissure sealants when necessary. Please ask reception for details.
Why is a regular dental check-up so important for children?
Did you know?…
- A child’s first adult molars come through at around the age of six. These teeth can be fissure sealed to help protect them from decay.
- At each check-up we will provide help and advice with diet and brushing.
- The earlier any decay can be detected, the easier it is to treat.
- We will check the position of new teeth emerging and give advice on whether Orthodontic treatment (braces) might be necessary.
- Regular examinations at a young age reduces the fear factor for children.
Further helpful, interesting information about dental care, games and fun facts for children can be found on the following websites:
Aquafresh website at www.aquafresh.co.uk
Colgate Kids website at www.colgate.com and
Oral-B website at www.oralb.com
Some helpful advice
Diet and your teeth
What causes tooth decay?
The most important cause of tooth decay is sugar in the diet. Every time sugar is put in the mouth, bacteria in plaque attack the tooth surface by producing acid, which starts to dissolve the tooth. Every attack lasts for around 20 minutes until your saliva neutralizes the acid. Someone with poor oral hygiene would be at more risk of having tooth decay because of the plaque and food deposits on their teeth.
Where is sugar found?
Sugar is not only found in biscuits, sweets, and cakes, it is found in a whole variety of food including some crisps, tomato ketchup, baked beans, tinned sweet corn, tinned soups, soft drinks, fizzy drinks and fruit juice (which not only contain a high sugar content but are very erosive to the teeth). Some foods, such as fruit, contain natural sugars. There is also a high sugar content found in syrup-based medicines.
But I Don’t Eat Sweets.
Does your diet have a high sugar content?
Always check the labels, the nearer the ingredient is to the beginning of the list the greater the proportion in the food. Sometimes manufacturers use words such as ‘sucrose’, ‘glucose’, ‘fructose’ and ‘invert sugar’. All of these words are used to describe sugar and can all damage your teeth.
How to reduce the risk of tooth decay
- Cut out or cut down the sugar content in your diet. Try to buy sugar-free, low sugar or diet products.
- Limit your sugar intake to meal times only. It is a fact that the more frequently you have sugar, the more increased your risk of tooth decay is.
- For low sugar snacks during the day try: – fresh fruit, crispy vegetables, natural yoghurt with added fruit, sugar-free crisps, savoury sandwiches, cheese, pizza slices and hard-boiled eggs.
- Buy sugar-free medicines for children.
- Chew sugar-free gum.
- Have sweeteners in tea or coffee instead of sugar.
- Buy sugar-free mints instead of boiled sweets.
- Drink milk, water or sugar-free squash instead of fizzy drinks and fruit juice.
- Buy sugar-free ice pops or make your own ice-lollies with sugar-free squash.
Good tooth brushing
Brushing our teeth is the first step to keeping them clean and preventing decay and gum problems. Always choose a nylon toothbrush which is small enough to reach the very back teeth. Your dentist or hygienist will advise whether to choose a soft or a medium textured bristle. Make sure that you change your brush every six to eight weeks and never use a hard bristled brush as this may damage your gums and teeth. When cleaning your teeth use a dry toothbrush as its effectiveness is reduced if it is wet. Brush every morning and evening using the technique in the pictures.