“The early experiences that a child has in the dental chair will profoundly
influence his future attitude towards his oral health in general and dental
treatment in particular.” (Paedodontic Society, SA)
We welcome little ones at our practice and special attention is provided to create a stress free, fun appointment for your child. Creating a friendly, non- threatening relationship between child and dentist ensures that oral health is a natural part of your child’s health regime for life!
Most of us see a dentist only once something is wrong. Practicing preventative dentistry means regular checkups and cleanings, twice a year, allowing your dentist to detect problems early on. Meaning that a visit to the dentist is no longer associated with fear and dread.
Children are not just small adults. They are emotionally and intellectually different to adults and the primary teeth are anatomically and physiologically different from adult teeth. Young children, pre-teens and teenagers have different psychological needs and expectations therefore they need to be treated in a different manner.
What to expect at the first visit Your child's first visit is our first opportunity to show your child that dentistry can be fun and exciting. We aim at making your child as relaxed as possible while demonstrating how to care for his/her teeth.
The first visit is to gather information about your child (medical history, oral hygiene routine, diet) to determine his/her risk for developing cavities. If your child is at ease we may also introduce your child to dental cleanings, examine your child’s teeth, and take xrays only when necessary.
We will discuss your child’s oral hygiene, diet, fluoride exposure, injury prevention, oral habits (thumb-sucking, pacifier, etc.), and dental development. If we detect cavities, we will discuss a treatment plan to both treat and prevent future cavities forming. If we see a need, then information regarding dental sealants, missing teeth and orthodontic screening will be provided.
Be sure to talk about the first visit in a very optimistic manner. Try not to use any words with a negative connotation and instead try to use words that children understand to be happy and positive. Avoid talking about subjects that can be very scary such as needles or “poking of gums or yanking out teeth”. Concentrate on the positive and your child will be much more excited and less troubled about visiting the dentist.
Key points Establish good oral hygiene behaviour early on. Use a damp cloth to wipe your baby’s gums, and start brushing from the very first tooth that comes into the mouth!
Brush twice a day every day. Remember “you don’t have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!”
Visit your dentist BEFORE there is a problem and establish a trusting relationship between child and dentist. That way when there’s a problem it can be solved without much fuss.
Visit your dentist twice a year from the time the first two teeth appear next to each other in the mouth.
Prevention, prevention, prevention! Regular check-ups mean early detection of cavities or orthodontic issues which means less extensive (and less expensive) treatment!
Eruption Patterns Most babies' teeth erupt in a predictable pattern, although the exact sequence and timing may vary. Children develop at different speeds, girls develop faster than boys… so if your child doesn’t follow the table to the letter, there’s no reason to panic.
If you have concerns, come in for a consultation and we can assess and reassure you!
Oral Health Education for Kids Children are like sponges, absorbing information willingly. It is rewarding to see how receptive they are to learning about how to look after their teeth and making the right food choices and I have received so much positive feedback from both the children and their mums too!