Prevention is key
At Crown Dental we strongly believe in prevention and encourage our patients to bring their children to the practice from an early age. Regular check-ups from a young age will ensure children won’t suffer from untreated dental decay with long-term devastating effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our dentists will:
- Carry out a full examination of your child’s mouth, teeth and gums
- All emergency problems will be the first to be addressed. If your child is in pain, we will do everything possible to reduce or eliminate their discomfort.
- Ask about and give advice on your child’s diet
- Give you advice on the most appropriate ways to keep their mouth, teeth and gums healthy
- Inform you about the latest facts about finger, thumb and pacifier habits
- Advise you what you need to know about preventing injuries to the mouth and teeth
- Explain any treatment your child may need
- Discuss with you when your child’s next visit should be
- Application of fluoride is a safe and effective way to protect your growing child’s teeth from developing decay. The fluoride is painted onto the surface of the teeth and helps to mineralise them.
- Fissure sealants are tooth colored and applied to biting surfaces of children’s teeth to prevent decay.
You may take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. Beginning early may prevent extensive dental needs in a future, creating a strong foundation for prevention
You should then take them regularly, as often as your dentist recommends. This will let them get used to the noises, smells and surroundings and prepare them for future visits. The earlier these visits begin, the more relaxed the child will be.
First or ‘baby’ teeth have usually developed before your child is born and will start to come through at around 6 months. The eruption of teeth in your infant will vary and may be 10 to 12 months from the average ranges and still be normal.Generally children have their full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of 3 years.
The first permanent ‘adult’ molars will appear at about 6 years, behind the baby teeth and before the first teeth start to fall out at about 6 to 7. The adult teeth will then replace the baby teeth. It is usually the lower front teeth that are lost first, followed by the upper front teeth shortly after. All adult teeth should be in place by the age of 13, except the wisdom teeth. These may come through at any time between 18 and 25 years of age.
Please remember that all children are different and develop at different rates.
Brushing your child’s teeth should be part of their daily hygiene routine.
When the first teeth start to come through, try using a children’s toothbrush with a small smear of toothpaste.
Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. Point the bristles to where the gums and teeth meet. Clean every surface of every tooth. For the front teeth, use the “toe” or front part of the brush. The key word is gentle. You can hurt the gums by brushing too hard.
It is important to supervise your child’s brushing until they are at least seven.
Once all the teeth have come through, use a small-headed soft toothbrush in small circular movements and try to concentrate on one section at a time.
If possible make tooth brushing a routine – preferably in the morning, before bedtime.
Make teeth brushing a family activity and brush your teeth together, it’s fun!
Fluoride comes from a number of different sources including toothpaste, specific fluoride applications and perhaps the drinking water in your area. These can all help to prevent tooth decay. If you are unsure about using fluoride toothpaste ask our dentists. Fluoride is safe and necessary to keep teeth strong, but only at appropriate levels and only when your child is able to spit.
There are many different types of children’s toothbrushes. These include brightly coloured brushes, ones that change colour, ones with favourite characters on the handle, and some with a timer. These all encourage children to brush their teeth. The most important point is to use a small-headed toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles, suitable for the age of your child. Replace the brush every three months.
Toothache is painful and upsetting, especially in children, and the main cause is still tooth decay. This is due to too much sugar and acid, too often, in the diet.
Teething is another problem which starts at around 6 months and can continue as all the baby teeth start to come through. If your child needs pain relief, make sure you choose a sugar-free medicine. If the pain continues then contact your dentist for an appointment.
The main cause of tooth decay is not the amount of sugar and acid in the diet, but how often it is eaten or drunk. The more often your child has sugary or acidic foods or drinks, the more likely they are to have decay. It is therefore important to keep sugary and acidic foods to mealtimes only. If you want to give your child a snack, try to stick to vegetables, fruit and cheese. Try to limit dried fruit as it is high in sugar and can stick to the teeth.
It is also worth remembering that some processed baby foods contain quite a lot of sugar. Try checking the list of ingredients: the higher up the list sugar is, the more there is in the product. Sometimes, on labels, sugar is called fructose, glucose, lactose or sucrose.
Thorough brushing for two minutes, twice a day, particularly last thing at night, will help to prevent tooth decay.
Children can sense fear in their parents, so it is important not to let your child feel that a visit to the dentist is something to be worried about. Try to be supportive if your child needs to have any dental treatment. If you have any fears of your own about going to the dentist, don’t discuss them in front of your child.Regular visits to the dentist are essential in helping your child to get used to the surroundings and what goes on there.
We promise to work hard to try and make your child’s first visit with us as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Depending on your child’s age and previous dental experience, we suggest you discuss with your child what to expect during their first visit to a dentist.
You can explain to your child that the dentist is a friend that has a job helping people with their smiles. Describe that the dentist will look into your child’s mouth, count their teeth and clean them with a special, tickling toothbrush and might take some pictures of their teeth and mouth. We find that it’s best not to tell children that their visit to the dentist won’t hurt, because that thought may have not occurred to them at all. Instead, you can assure your child that the dentist will be very gentle and will take good care of them.
Studies have shown that the younger the age that you bring your child to the dental practice, even if just for an examination, the more likely they are to have a positive experience and grow up not to be afraid of the dentist. Treating a child from an early age also allows the dentist to spot early signs of bite problems developing and advise on possible orthodontic treatments.
As with most things, the sooner you can start to treat it, the quicker it can be resolved.