CHILDREN’S DENTAL CARE

Looking after children’s teeth

Start early for the best long-term oral health

Research and experience have shown that the younger you bring your child to the dentist for check-ups, the more likely they are to have a fun, positive experience that stays with them as they grow up. At Clyde Munro, we believe you’re never too young to come to the dentist – and we encourage all parents to bring their babies to see us as soon as the first teeth appear, or by the age of one regardless. And the more regularly your child comes to see us, the more likely we are to spot and eliminate problems before they become serious. As well as looking out for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, we’ll monitor your child’s bite and their growing jaw, which can help eliminate or reduce any orthodontic treatment when they get older.

Fluoride varnish

Fluoride is vital to ensuring 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 Clyde Munro practices across Scotland, our teams 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 3 days, before it gradually wears off. Most children aren’t bothered by this – in fact they usually think it’s funny!

Fissure sealants

Dental sealants are a proven and recommended treatment, designed to help protect your child’s chewing teeth, especially the areas of the teeth the toothbrush sometimes misses. 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 Clyde Munro, 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 six or seven, with replacements provided at 12 or 13 if required.

Why bother taking a baby to the dentist?

Even if they haven’t got any teeth, we recommend that all children are seen by a dentist before their first birthday, and this can be as simple as bringing them with you during your own check-up. This will not only eliminate any potential risks, but also establishes the dentist as a familiar and fun place to be.

When should I start teaching my child to brush their teeth?

As soon as those milk teeth come through. Even babies can start getting used to the idea of brushing, and the earlier you give them a toothbrush, the more likely they are to comply with oral hygiene in the future. As more teeth come through, brush regularly and then encourage them to attempt their own brushing while you supervise. From birth to 3 years, use a flat smear of adult toothpaste with 1000ppm (parts per million) of fluoride in it. After the age of 3, a small pea-sized amount can be used. Children learn good habits from watching what happens in the home, and you can set a good example by brushing and flossing your own teeth twice a day.

Is it ok to give my child a dummy?

Sucking is a natural reflex in a young child and a dummy may be a useful aide to help soothe your baby. The important thing is never to dip the dummy in anything sweet and never use a dummy that has juice in it.

When should my child stop sucking their thumb?

If your child reaches the age of 5 and still sucks their thumb or fingers habitually, it may be time to start gently discouraging them, as this is the age when intensive sucking can cause speech or orthodontic problems. Your dentist should be able to advise you on the best course of action.

Why is fluoride important?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents cavities and is highly beneficial to teeth, which is why it’s routinely added to toothpaste. At Clyde Munro, we offer children fluoride varnish, a quick and completely painless procedure that is excellent for preventing child tooth decay.

What do I need to know about fissure sealants?

Fissure sealants are often recommended when the permanent molars erupt and consist of a plastic seal that is smoothed over the tooth surface, preventing food getting stuck in those hard-to-brush areas.

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