Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can get fearful of new situations that they find themselves in. We make a special effort to use pleasant and simple words to describe each part of your child’s treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment you walk in our door.
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly erupted teeth (erupting at 6-12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from good oral hygiene habits right from the beginning. Although putting your one year old in the dental chair may seem a bit unforgiving, it is the best way of getting them used to us and preventing trauma and fear about future visits.
On their first visit we just simply have a look at their teeth and may take a few pictures with our inter oral camera. The next visit we may give them a clean, and over consecutive visits we introduce things like oral hygiene. We put a lot of effort in to getting children used to us one step at a time. We have found engaging in this way causes least trauma to the child when they do have to undergo actual treatment, and also encourages them to have regular routine visits to the dentist as they mature. To make them even more comfortable, we have installed a TV above the dental chair, so they can watch their favourite TV show — a great distraction!
When new teeth arrive
Your child’s first primary, or “baby” teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of 6-12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child’s gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth. Your child’s primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, 32 teeth including wisdom teeth. Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby’s tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft bristled toothbrush and a pea sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, it is best to avoid fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by us. It can also be useful to talk through correct brushing procedures with your child.
Preventing tooth decay with regular checkups
Children are at high risk of tooth decay for a simple reason — many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits prevent tooth decay. Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleans and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth at their strongest. Fissure sealants are also recommended at around the age of 6-7 when children’s first adult molars erupt. They “seal” the deep grooves in your child’s teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard to reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but we always monitor them when you have your regular checkup.