Treatment of Children
Tooth decay and gum disease are preventable. If they do occur in childhood it can be distressing for both the child and their parent. Unfortunately pain only occurs when the disease is well advanced and often by then we may not be able to save the tooth and it requires extraction. Such a situation can lead to the child being ‘put off’ dentistry for life with long term consequences for their dental and general health.
Regular examinations from a young age can prevent this.
We recommend that all children should attend for regular examinations by 3 years of age. Before then we like a parent to bring them when they have their examinations so they can get used to the environment of the dental surgery from an early age. By the age of 3 children have baby molar teeth in place but they have not usually been in the mouth long enough for any decay to have occurred. If a parent has concerns before the age of 3 we will happily check them.
We take great care with children that their experience at the dentist is a positive one. All the dentists have children of their own and know how difficult it can be to ensure your child has the correct diet and brushes their teeth well. We support our parents to help them do the right things to help them maintain their child’s dental health. As well as diet and oral hygiene advice we apply Fluoride gel to your child’s teeth at each visit. We regularly assess the growth of their teeth and will refer them to an orthodontist if necessary. Such orthodontic treatment is usually done on the NHS, following an assessment by the orthodontist.
If a child struggles to keep their teeth clean we will recommend them to see our hygienist Kim. She will help them to improve and maintain their oral hygiene in order to stop future problems. If your child has weak teeth or is at high risk of decay, the dentist will prescribe higher strength Fluoride toothpastes to help prevent disease.
As children move into the teenage years their risk of disease can increase. Mum and Dad no longer supervise their brushing and, as they are more independent, their diet can often worsen. This can lead to an increase risk of gum disease and tooth decay, and particularly tooth surface loss due to acidic and fizzy drinks. We call this EROSION. Such erosion can have a devastating effect on their teeth. Even diet fizzy drinks can cause this – the gas dissolved in the drink turns it into acid which then dissolves the tooth enamel away. Citrus drinks are acidic too but also contain a lot of sugar (this includes the ‘ no added sugar’ concentrates) causing the child to lose tooth structure through acid erosion and decay at the same time.
Once lost, enamel cannot be replaced. Its loss can lead to sensitive teeth, weakening of the tips of the teeth so they start chipping away, as well as general yellowing of the teeth. The enamel is what makes teeth white and when it gets thin it means the yellow dentine shows through more.
Prevention is the only way to preserve enamel. Let us help your teenagers care for their enamel. We can pick up early signs of tooth wear and help them to act to prevent it. Our child dental plans start at less than 18p a day. Compare that to the cost of the sugary snacks and acidic drinks children consume each day and you can see how little it costs.
Prevention means stopping them suffering from diseases that are preventable. Let us help you to give your child the start he/she deserves in their dental life. Give them the advantage of private dentistry for just 18p a day.
We do not do braces at the practice but we work closely with specialist orthodontists who provide a full range of braces for adults as well as children. Children are usually seen on the NHS, adults are treated on a private basis.
A combination of moving teeth using braces then adding composites to change the shape of the teeth is a fabulous way to dramatically improve your smile without damaging the teeth. Whitening the teeth before adding the composite is also possible.
Knocking the teeth can lead to fracture lines, fractures and even complete loss of teeth. Such damage can lead to a lifetime of repeated treatments from fillings to dentures or dental implants. Dentists recommend the use of protective mouth-guards for all contact sports. This includes sports such as hockey and football. Football is the sport in which we see most damage occurring. Rugby clubs now insist all children wear gum-shields, football clubs do not.
Mouth-guards help reduce the risk of damage to the teeth by acting as a cushion to any force. The better fitting they are, the better they do their job. We recommend having mouth-guards custom made so they are more comfortable to wear and fit better. To make them an impression of the child’s mouth is taken .That is used to make a mould of the child’s mouth so the laboratory can construct a perfect fitting guard.
All it takes is a single knock in the mouth to destroy a child’s teeth. Let us help you to keep your child’s smile intact.