Gentle children’s dental care for ages 0 to 18
Tooth decay and gum disease are still on the rise among children in the UK – and one reason is a lack of awareness among parents about taking their children to the dentist. At Ferndown Dental Practice, we treat all children for free up to the age of 18 and urge parents to bring babies for their first visit as soon as those milk teeth appear – or by the age of 1 regardless. With its DCBy1 (Dental Check By age 1) campaign, the British Society for Paediatric Dentistry has made great inroads in addressing the awareness problem surrounding children’s dentistry. Milk teeth are just as important as adult teeth!
Baby and toddler check-ups in Ferndown
Bringing your baby to see us at Ferndown Dental Practice not only gives your dentist a chance to check all is well with their gums and new teeth, but it’s proven to help create positive experiences of the dentist that remain with your children for life. This goes a long way to reducing dental anxiety in children and making their dental visit something they look forward to. Regular dental visits from an early age also give parents an extra source of support beyond their GP, midwife and health visitor when it comes to help with getting kids to eat well and brush properly.
Fluoride plays a key role in your child’s oral health: too little, and they will run the risk of developing cavities; too much, and they might develop fluorosis – white chalky spots on the enamel. At Ferndown Dental Practice, our team will recommend the right amount of fluoride for your child, and schedule a regular application of a small amount of dental fluoride varnish to help slow and prevent tooth decay. This is a very quick and simple procedure, which involves a gel being painted onto your child’s teeth using a soft brush. The gel has a fruity taste, which temporarily colours the teeth for up to three days, before it gradually wears off.
Fluoride encourages remineralisation – strengthening weakened areas of your child’s teeth and protecting them from acid in foods and drinks. Fluoride occurs naturally in our tap water, as well as in many different foods – and it’s added to dental products such as toothpaste, mouthwash and supplements. Combining all sources of fluoride with a healthy diet and a great oral hygiene routine is the best way to reap the benefits.
Designed to help protect your child’s chewing teeth, dental sealant is a proven and recommended treatment that reaches areas of the teeth the toothbrush sometimes misses. Typically clear or white in colour, dental sealant is painted onto the back teeth, creating a smoother surface to help prevent food from getting trapped. Dental sealant usually lasts between three and five years and will ultimately help prevent cavities from forming. At Ferndown Dental Practice, we will thoroughly assess your child’s mouth to decide if dental sealant is suitable, or to check existing sealants are intact. Most children receive their first set of dental sealants at around the age of 6 or 7, with replacements provided at 12 or 13.
From the moment their first milk teeth appear, you should either brush children’s teeth for them, or supervise them, until they are around the age of 7 or 8.
Children should be encouraged to brush their teeth at least every morning and evening for two minutes. You should ensure that your child spits out excess toothpaste but does not rinse with too much water as this washes away the cavity-preventing fluoride in the toothpaste.
Children under the age of 3 should use a smear of toothpaste that contains 1000 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Children aged 3 years and over should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste that contains 1350-1500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride. Your dentist and hygienist will be able to recommend the right products for your whole family.