Our practice is dedicated to your entire family’s dental care, offering a warm and welcoming environment for children and adults alike. We establish a personal ongoing relationship with our small patients thus treating them into adulthood. This makes them very confident and relaxed patients as they grow up.
Early oral examinations aids in the above, but also in the detection of early stages of tooth decay/cavities. This facilitates early intervention and treatment of small cavities which is much easier for the child and dentist. This is also more conservative to the teeth as big cavities can lead to the premature loss of baby teeth and resultant loss of space for the permanent teeth to erupt into.
- When should my child first see a dentist?
With the appearance of the first primary tooth we can rely on a preventative approach towards the developing dentition. All children are different in their physical and emotional development, but we recommend a visit to us at the age of three years which is generally when all 20 of the primary teeth have just completed the eruption process, the back molars being the last. This first visit should only be an introduction to the dentist and every effort is made to make it a pleasant and interesting experience: at this age the little ones are happy to have a ride in the “special helicopter chair” and for the dentist to “count their teeth”.
- How do I prepare my child for his/her first visit?
Inform your child in advance that he is going to the dentist and make it a positive occasion. Mention all the positive things: tell them a positive story about visiting the dentist and relate your own positive experiences at the dentist. Explain to them in simple terms what the dentist will be doing at their first visit. Don’t project or transfer your fears or negativity about the dentist onto your child. Try not to make an appointment with us during the child’s naptime or lunch time.
- What happens during the first visit?
We will examine your child’s mouth, teeth and gums. This may be done with a dental mirror and probe. We will assess your child’s oral hygiene and teach you and the child how to clean and care for his/her teeth. We will also check whether his/her teeth require extra fluoride (applied professionally or at home in the form of a prescribed liquid or tablet supplement). An assessment will be also be made whether there are damaging habits such as dummy or thumb sucking. These habits may affect the normal eruption and development of the teeth and jaws which could lead to orthodontic and speech defects. It is advisable not to do any procedures during the first visit. At subsequent visits a gentle polishing can be done to introduce your child to a non-invasive dental procedure. We may recommend routine diagnostic dental x-rays. We recommend not to wait until your child has a problem before you visit us. We recommend regular visits: generally every 6 months.
- How can I best care for my child’s teeth?
When the first baby tooth appears, you can wipe it with a soft damp cloth or use commercially available disposable material. Introduce a soft baby toothbrush as soon as possible to remove plaque/bacteria build-up on the teeth twice daily. Special baby toothpastes containing the correct amount of fluoride are available. Do not give your child a bottle with fruit juice or milk in a bottle at bed-time, because the sugars will be converted into acid which will cause tooth decay. Introduce drinking from a cup as soon as possible. Provide a balanced diet rich in calcium and limit sticky snacks and drinks high in sugar. Regular visits to the dentist and/or oral hygienist.
- What about cavities in the “baby” teeth?
In the event of cavities (tooth decay/caries) developing in the primary teeth, it is advisable to detect them early when they are still very small during our routine examinations. It is essential to fill these cavities to prevent toothache and thereby preserving the primary teeth until they are naturally exfoliated/lost. This ensures that the space in the dental arch is maintained for the developing permanent dentition to erupt into.