Children’s Teeth FAQ’s
We take children’s dentistry very seriously and are keen to create a trusting relationship with our younger patients, ultimately fostering a lifetime of good dental habits. We provide an extensive range of treatments for children and are always happy to answer any of your questions regarding children’s teeth. Here are just 4 of the questions that we often get asked by parents.
1. What is fluoride varnish treatment?
Fluoride varnish is a totally safe and painless treatment that dentists provide to help prevent or to decelerate, tooth decay. Studies have shown that it can strengthen tooth enamel although it can’t completely prevent cavities from forming. It works best when the child is brushing with fluoride toothpaste, eating a healthy diet, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis.
Children over the age of two should receive the fluoride varnish treatment twice a year. A member of our dental team will paint the varnish on the top and sides of each tooth using a small brush. Most children like the fruity taste and smell of the varnish, although some younger patients may still cry before, and even during, the procedure.
Fortunately the treatment only takes a few moments. The varnish sets quickly and will leave your children’s teeth a pale yellow colour – but don’t worry the teeth will return to their normal colour once they’re brushed. For best results the varnish should remain on the teeth for the rest of the day and overnight. Parents can brush their child’s teeth the next morning and continue to do so, twice daily.
2. Can children use adult toothpaste safely?
It’s important to start brushing your child’s teeth from the moment the first tooth arrives (around 6 months of age) and this should be done with a soft toothbrush and the tiniest amount of fluoride toothpaste. Children up to the age of 6 without tooth decay can have their teeth brushed with a lower-strength toothpaste containing a minimum of 1,000 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Up to the age of 3 parents should ensure their child uses just a smear of toothpaste. Over 3 but below 6 years old, parents should increase this to a pea sized blob. Children over 7 can safely use the family toothpaste provided it contains 1350 to 1500 ppm. You can check this out on the package or if in doubt ask your dentist.
3. How important is it that children visit the dentist regularly?
It’s extremely important that children visit the dentist regularly, and the earlier they start the better. In fact all children should have their first dental visit by the age of 1, or as soon as their first tooth appears. Visiting the dentist at an early age familiarises them with the environment and helps them get to know the dentist. It also forms the basis of good oral habits which will help them maintain a healthy mouth throughout their lives.
Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent tooth decay and cavities and we can show you how to care for your child’s teeth and assess his or her fluoride needs. Getting acquainted with the dentist also helps to alleviate any fear and anxiety making for stress free visits in the future. We recommend that children visit the dentist every six months or sometimes even every three months in order to build up their confidence levels.
Can my children have after school appointments?
From experience we have found that young children are best to visit the dentist in the morning when they are fresh, relaxed, and more likely to be compliant with the dentist. A later visit can find them tired and not so willing to cooperate.
We do our best to book school children in for after school appointments but with a lot of children on our books, this isn’t always possible. We would therefore ask that you consider alternative appointments during lunch hours, early dismissal days, study times, and days when school is closed.
Our dental team has plenty of experience in dealing with children and do all they can to make their visit as enjoyable as possible. We welcome the opportunity of caring for your child’s teeth so please call us to make their first appointment. If you need any more information then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Confidental Clapham 020 7801 9060
Confidental Greenwich 020 8858 1422
Confidental Surbiton 020 8399 1291
Confidental Purley 020 8660 8923