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“Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond” - Miguel de Cervantes
Paediatric dentistry is a relatively new field in dentistry, which specialises in the prevention and treatment of dental diseases in children, adolescents and people with special needs. Paediatric dentistry helps children establish a positive relationship with the dental staff and the surrounding environment, and aims at eliminating the phobia usually encountered in children, thus allowing for a smooth restoration and maintenance of good oral hygiene.
Prior to a dental visit, it is important that you explain to your kids, the importance of good oral hygiene. Let the rest be handled by the specialised staff of Smalto Clinic, who will welcome your child, in a child friendly space, making sure their dental experience is not only fear free, but even pleasant!
To help you establish a smooth brushing routine, we suggest you download the BRUSHING CALENDAR from our website. You can use it to draw with your kid and you can bring it with you at your next appointment so that we can talk about it together.
BRUSHING CALENDAR, 10 IDEAS TO MAKE TOOTH BRUSHING FUN
1. ΤΗΕPAEDIATRIC DENTAL Smalto ΤΕΑΜ
Smalto Dental Clinic, is staffed by experienced dentists, child dentists as well as dental assistants, who are eager to provide you with excellent services. Moreover, the Smalto premises have created a specially designed space for children, to help them relax and trust the professionals.
2. YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL VISIT
“If you take your child to the dentist to check for cavities, the child likely won't get them. If you take them just for emergency, that's all they're gonna get.” -B. Cosby
The best dental protection for children is prevention.Most children have their first teeth around the age of 6 months, while they should have all their milk by the age of 3. Around the age 6, milk teeth are replaced by permanent teeth. It is recommended that the child’s first visit to the dentist takes place between 1-2 years of age and that a relationship of trust among parent, child and dentist starts at an early age. It is essential that the first visit of a kid to the dentist is not associated with pain but is rather a friendly initiation visit.
Before coming, you can prepare your child, by reading children’s stories, dealing with oral health. Please avoid phrases such as ‘’don’t be afraid’’, ‘’nobody is going to hurt you’’, etc. as well as refrain from sharing your own negative experience or phobias!
Rest assured hat at Smalto Clinic, our specialized dentist can handle even the most difficult of cases. S/he can even examine your child on your lap if this will make them feel more relaxed.
The goal of the first visit is to expose the child to the dental environment and to get to know our paediatric dentist and personnel. We want children to feel comfortable about receiving dental care and encourage you and your child to ask questions or discuss any concerns with us. During the first visit, you will be briefed on dental decay prevention, the importance of milk teeth, healthy eating habits as well as the effects of bad nutrition on oral health.
At the next appointment, a thorough dental examination will be carried out by our specialized dentists and this may include the following:
- Evaluation of medical and dental history, and oral hygiene instructions and information about prevention of early childhood tooth decay, gum disease (gingivitis), parafunctional habits (thumb sucking), eating habits and other dental concerns
- A thorough clinical examination of the teeth and gums, plus an orthodontic examination for early detection of skeletal abnormalities or severe crowding
- Cleaning and polishing of teeth and dental fluoridation
- Preventive tooth sealants on milk or permanent teeth if necessary
- Dental radiographs (x-rays) where needed
- Treatment planning
3. 10 IDEAS TO MAKE TOOTH BRUSHING FUN!
When our children reach the age of having to brush their teeth, it often feels like an impossible task! It is a battle we have to fight twice a day, and one which sometimes ends in both parts screaming. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Imagination and patience can help teach your children to brush their teeth in fun ways, until they are mature enough to understand the importance of brushing them correctly. Parents’ systematic commitment to this procedure, guarantees that your children will also see it the same way.
4. ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PAEDIATRIC DENTISTRY
Especially between the ages of 6m-36m, parents often have to deal with symptoms such as irritability, pain, increased saliva, itching gums, or even fever, all due to the growing teeth. In these cases, special toys, gels and a light massage can be very comforting for the child.
USE OF THE FEEDING BOTTLE
Letting children fall asleep while they are using the feeding bottle, means they are continuously exposed to sugar or honey contained in milk or juice. This increases the production of acids which are to blame for one of the most serious types of tooth decay in children, that can destroy the teeth in a very short time. Hence, the feeding bottle must be used appropriately and under no circumstances must substitute the pacifier.
USE OF PACIFIER AND THUMB SUCKING
The use of the pacifier, as thumb sucking, can lead to serious jaw malformation and thus must be terminated around the age of 3-4. Their use after this age, can lead to serious orthodontic problems such as open bite, cross bite, protruding teeth etc. If you have difficulty helping your child stop , the Smalto orthodontist can help you, with the aid of a special device. It is important to note that being able to stop early, allows for the timely correction of any malformation in the teeth or jaws.
BRUSHING: WHEN, IN WHICH WAY AND HOW OFTEN
Milk teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed. Initially, brushing must be done without toothpaste, while gradually parents can start using toothpaste according to their children’s age. Around the ages of 6-7 children should be able to brush alone.
Fluoridation is one of the most widely used methods for tooth decay prevention. Fluoride makes teeth stronger and protects their surface, thus must be used systematically, so as to effectively act against tooth decay. In any case, fluoridation must start between ages 2-3, and must be repeated every 6 months. In cases of children where tooth decay is frequent, the procedure may repeated every 3 months.
Tooth decay is a result of acids, produced by the bacteria of the dental plaque. The acids destroy the outer layer surface of the tooth enamel, causing the creation of small holes, usually in between two neighbouring teeth. Treatment consists of removing the source of infection, cleaning the tooth and placing a filling.
CLEANING AND POLISHING
The oral cavity normally is inhabited by millions of bacteria which make up dental plaque. When this is accumulated more than usual, it can lead to tooth decay or inflammation of the gums. Thus, daily brushing is absolutely necessary, and so is the dental cleaning every 6 months.
Dental cleaning takes place in two stages:
Teeth cleaning- a process whereby hard parts around the teeth are removed by device using ultrasound, and polishing, where a soft brush is used to remove the softer parts of dental plaque and the dental surface is polished with a special fruit or gum flavoured dental paste . Teeth should undergo cleaning and polishing at least 1-2 times per year, until age 13, whereas the first visit to the orthodontist should take place around ages 6-7.
ARE DENTAL PREVENTIVE SEALANTS NECESSARY?
The chewing surfaces of the molar teeth have fissures, which trap bacteria and food remains, causing tooth decay. Due to high consumption of sweets and improper brushing, children’s teeth are at a high risk for tooth decay. The prophylactic fissure sealants can be placed in a single visit, through an easy, quick and simple procedure. Following the eruption of the first permanent molar teeth, at age 6, as well as the eruption of the second permanent molar teeth around age 12-13, it is absolutely necessary to place prophylactic fissures, as research has shown that teeth with sealants run 80% less possibility to suffer from tooth decay.
In cases of destroyed teeth and teeth with abscesses or where restoration is impossible, the dentist has no choice but to remove them, in order to protect the oral but also the general health of the child. Extraction is followed by the introduction of a special device to keep the space of the tooth intact, so that the permanent teeth grows in the correct position. Very often, we come across cases where the permanent teeth are starting to grow, in the presence of front milk teeth in the lower jaw, and thus extraction is the only solution.
CHILDREN AND ORAL HEALTH
Tooth decay and gum disease are the most commonly found dental problems in children, which are caused by bacteria of the dental plaque, when teeth cleaning is inadequate. Tooth decay (which is not a hereditary disease), is a process whereby the teeth are destroyed as a result of bacteria transmitted to the child, by his/her environment (eating from the same spoon, kissing on the mouth etc) or as a result of poor hygiene.
Tooth decay must be taken care of as early as possible as it can lead to a premature loss of milk teeth. In cases of children under 17, with poor oral health or where nutrition is mostly based on starch, tooth decay can attack the permanent teeth. Gum diseases is also the most commonly found by children, with redness swelling, as bleeding during brushing.
INJURIES, LOSS OF TEETH
Child teeth injuries in milk or permanent teeth are common and can be quite serious. It is crucial that following such an accident, a thorough evaluation is carried out. If the injury has affected the child’s milk teeth, the situation should be assessed immediately so as to know if that may mean damage for the permanent teeth. If there is mobility in the teeth, then they should be immobilized. If a tooth has been chipped off or broken, the dentist may be able to restore it. In case one of the permanent teeth completely came out of position, it is important that once washed with water, it is taken to the dentist as soon as possible. Never touch the root, but instead take it from the crown, which is the white part of the tooth. If you cannot place it back in the child’s mouth, place it in a bowl with milk and not water. The sooner you get to the dentist (30-40 minutes), the more possibilities there are to save the injured tooth.