Bringing your child to the dentist on a regular basis helps to prevent any dental complications that may occur further down the line. It will also help them to feel more comfortable in the dental setting when they become adults.
We advise that you bring your child to see the dentist as early as six months old – which is around the time they start teething. Even though they may only have a few teeth for us to examine at this stage, early visits will help your child feel relaxed about attending dental appointments.
We will do all that we can to look after your child’s dental health, but much of the work happens at home.
Care tips for the home
Start using a soft toothbrush and smear of toothpaste (1000ppm Fluoride) as soon as teeth start coming through. Keep an eye on how much sugar your child is consuming, in both food and drink, and avoid prolonged periods of bottle feeding, particularly at night.
From age two onwards, use more than 1000ppm fluoride toothpaste. At age three to six, you can progress to a pea-sized amount of paste. Brush your child’s teeth for around two minutes, twice a day and especially before bedtime. Encourage them to brush for long enough by introducing a child-friendly timer.
Supervise tooth brushing until your child is old enough to brush properly by themselves (at around seven or eight years). Even when they are old enough to brush alone, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them to check on their technique.
For more guidance, please refer to NHS guidelines on looking after children’s teeth.
Preventative treatments for children
Fissures are thin grooves on teeth. No matter how well they are brushed, bacteria can still collect within them and eventually cause decay. A fissure sealant is a resin coating applied to the tooth to stop food particles and bacteria from settling in these hard-to-clean grooves. We often provide this treatment to children whose permanent teeth are starting to emerge, usually between 6 and 7 years old. The treatment is non-invasive and local anaesthetic is not required.
We can apply fluoride varnish to the surface of the teeth to strengthen enamel and help protect young teeth from decay. This quick, painless treatment can be given to children as an additional form of protection alongside regular brushing.
Fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated form of fluoride that comes as a fruity smelling gel, either clear or yellow in colour. It slows down decay by stopping demineralisation, making the outer layer of the tooth more resistant to attacks from acid. It is not a permanent treatment, but it does stay in contact with the enamel for several hours.
Click here for more information and guidance on children’s dentistry (NHS).