Children's Dentistry

Why are baby teeth so important?
Primary teeth are important because they help with proper chewing and eating, in speech development and add to an attractive appearance. A child who can chew easily, speak clearly and smile confidently is a happier child. Healthy primary teeth allow normal development of the jaw bones and muscles, save space for the permanent teeth and guide them into place. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, permanent teeth may come in crooked. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. Also, your child's general health can be affected if diseased baby teeth aren't treated. Remember, some primary molars are not replaced until age 10-14, so they must last for years.

Childhood has been identified as the most important period in a person's 'dental life'. We have found that even when children have been to the dentist before, they often do not know what to expect when they come to see us. On the first and all subsequent visits we aim to provide children with full information about the visit, to help them overcome their anxieties. We firmly believe that this approach prepares the child to enter adulthood with a positive attitude towards dental health.

We would prefer to start seeing patients as young as twelve months old. This enables us to check for early signs of disorders, to advise parents on dental health, and to establish good preventive habits at an early stage.

Our practice philosophy is based upon three principles. First, prevention, by a continuing programme of instruction in dental health tailored to the patient's age. Second, encouragement for our patients to readily assume greater responsibility for their own dental health as they become more mature, without constant reminders from parents. Third, we aim for a high standard of clinical care.

What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?
We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way that you would before their first hair-cut or trip to the shoe shop. This will not be the frightening experience you may remember from your childhood. If you are nervous about the trip, then the less you say the better. You cannot hide your anxiety from a child (they have radar for these things). Your child's reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.

Having treatment as a child.
We all know that to avoid dental treatment is the best option and through correct preventive care this is possible; but sometimes we do need to carry out treatment for your child. We aim to do this with care and understanding. We can all remember having treatment as children too! Thankfully times have changed and new techniques and materials mean that treatment can be carried out much more easily with the minimum of discomfort. It is very rewarding to see happy children who look positively towards their visit to the dentist.

Important Ways To Protect Your Child’s Teeth

  1. Supervise under-sevens with tooth brushing. If they want to do it themselves, let them, but still do a final brush for them when they’ve finished.
  2. Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Children over six can use an adult-strength formula.
  3. Don’t let them rinse after brushing.
  4. Only give juice or fizzy drinks with meals or snacks. Stick to milk or water at other times.
  5. Use a straw for fizzy drinks.
  6. Encourage your child to consume drinks as quickly as possible, rather than sipping them over a long period.
  7. Avoid snacking – this is a major cause of tooth decay
  8. Limit sweet-eating to straight after meals, when the extra saliva created by chewing will help to protect the teeth.