Dentists are there to help families address oral health needs and teach children how to look after their dental health. We help parents to understand their child’s oral health and address any anxieties so that children may enjoy a positive dental experience.
Importance of Childhood Oral Health
Before children are able to talk they are not in a position to communicate that their mouth is sore. A dentist is there to gently assess a child’s oral health and help parents meet their child’s dental care needs, particularly at the start of teething and as milk teeth begin to erupt. Each child needs a dental care plan to prevent tooth decay, gum inflammation and related health conditions.
Child Teething and Oral Health
At around four months a baby’s milk teeth start to form and the gums are particularly sensitive at this time. Gum sensitivity may cause the baby to cry especially when the upper and lower incisors start to develop.
We provide parents with the necessary guidance to treat their baby’s gum sensitivity as new milk teeth develop between four months and three years of age. Children may experience oral discomfort and this is especially the case between the ages of six to twelve months.
Teething may be soothed by gentle gum stimulation with a clean finger, wet cloth or cold spoon. Dentists also provide gum soothing treatments for babies suffering with discomfort from teething. Teething biscuits should be avoided as they are too high in sugar content and may affect healthy milk teeth development.
Milk teeth development differs between children. Each child experiences unique needs during this time and dentists are there to guide parents in how to meet their child’s health needs.
A child’s first birthday marks the ideal time period for their first dental check-up. Starting early dental care helps children get used to the dentist and dental environments, potentially reducing the development of dental phobia that could otherwise prevent children from receiving the dental care they need.
The child’s first dental check-up should be followed by regular six-month appointments to ensure a dental care plan and preventative programme is in place to meet their oral health needs.
Childhood Tooth Decay Prevention
Parents are responsible for their child’s oral health and must ensure their child receives dental care for the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. We help parents meet this responsibility and provide guidance on how best to care for a developing child, such as:
- Avoiding use of teething biscuits with high sugar content
- Using a dummy for a baby’s comfort before bed instead of a bottle
- Not giving a baby milk to drink when falling asleep
Tooth decay can start with teething and first milk teeth eruption and it is vital to prevent the onset of tooth decay. Poor oral health in children can lead to other health conditions.
Dental Sealants in Children's Dentistry
Dentists recommend that the back permanent molar teeth of children be treated with dental sealants to prevent the onset of tooth decay and cavities. The sealant protects the teeth from food debris and plaque build-up that can become trapped in the grooves. Children are at risk of tooth decay and prevalence is high in the UK.
Unsealed teeth are at higher risk of tooth decay and cavity development because of grooves that are not easily accessed during oral hygiene. Bacteria may collect and cause infection, which may later need more extensive dental treatment such as dental fillings, root canal treatment or crowns. Dental sealants protect teeth, improve oral health and can save on dental costs.
Fissure sealants work to seal teeth grooves where tooth decay may otherwise develop. The sealant is a colourless fluid and is gently brushed onto the tooth surface, after which it is dried with an ultraviolet curing light. The dental sealant lasts for a number of years and acts to prevent tooth decay.
An ideal time to treat children with dental sealants is when their permanent teeth develop at around six to twelve years of age.
Accessing Child and Family Dentistry Treatments
Our clinic is a warm and friendly place for families to receive dental care. Simply give us a call or email us and we can make an appointment to discuss oral health needs. We provide a range of dentistry treatments to choose from for children, adolescents and adults, actively involving each individual patient in their own care plan.Get on touch
Childhood Diet and Oral Health
A healthy balanced diet in children prevents teeth and gum disorders from developing as they grow. Moderating sugar and acidic foods is a start and dentists may also provide parents with dietary advice. A good childhood diet is essential for healthy teeth, bone structure and oral tissue development. Children need exposure to a variety of foods in a balanced manner so that they have healthy appetites, receive needed nutrition and experience better oral and overall health.