Children with teeth are welcome from any age!
Even children without teeth are welcome where parents are wanting to “get in early” to prevent disease. This is the key to a great future and what I would encourage all parents to do. Sadly, I have referred children as young as 18 months of age for a general anaesthetic to have teeth extracted from bottle caries. This is where sweet drinks being fed in a bottle cause the teeth to rot.
Our aim is to help young patients to develop a full set of adult teeth in good health and function.
This comes about through regular brushing using a fluoride toothpaste, a low sugar diet and regular dental visits to monitor their teeth and detect any decay early.
Taking your kids to the Dentist
Children should be treated early in the day when they are fresh and full of energy. They should have breakfast before they arrive and not be told too much about their visit. Try and arrive on time and not be rushed.
Avoid telling a young patient too much about their visit. Try a good, simple sentence like
Dissuade “well-meaning” family and friends from describing their visit to the dentist or how certain procedures will feel.
This only incites fear and anxiety in a young patient who may never have such treatment.
Fissure sealants are a great way to protect the chewing surfaces of the molar teeth from decay. They are non-invasive and are generally easy to place.
Their role is to infiltrate the deep grooves of the molar teeth with resin and hence change the anatomy to being shallow and easy to keep clean.
Most children’s visits’ will consist of scaling and cleaning the teeth and fissure sealing the adult teeth to protect them from becoming decayed.
Fillings in Baby Teeth
FILLINGS IN BABY TEETH
Decay in baby teeth should be treated as decay is infectious and can spread to other teeth, including the new adult teeth. In addition, left untreated, decay on the sides of the baby teeth can allow the teeth to shuffle together and hence cause valuable space to be lost.
The best ways to diagnose decay on the sides of baby teeth is with x-rays. The radiation dose is extremely low and they can help prevent the need for root canal treatment.
Root Canal Treatment in Baby Teeth
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT IN BABY TEETH
Sometimes the decay in baby teeth is so deep that the nerve is infected and requires removal.
A pulpotomy is a unique procedure in baby teeth where the infected pulp tissue is removed and the remaining pulp preserved; a filling in then placed in the tooth.
The best way to restore the tooth is with a stainless-steel crown, but a metal/plastic filling can be used, especially when the tooth does not have a long life remaining.