Tooth fairy studio

We all want confident, healthy and happy children who are ready to take on the world. You can give your child great confidence by ensuring they have a beautiful and healthy smile. You can trust us to try and make your child’s dental visits as magical as possible. We encourage parents to bring their children from a young age. We pride ourselves on being very child friendly! We love treating kids, and are set up to cater for their needs. We see terrified adult patients that are extremely scared of dentists every day and most of the time it was due to a bad experience as a child. It is therefore our vision to make the dental experience as positive as possible for all the children we see.

Rainbow, our friendly kids’ mascot with his reward box, is there every step of the way to make little souls brave in the happy green chair! We even have a TV screen in the ceiling above the dental chair, so the kids can watch their favourite animations while treatment is done. This is an excellent distraction and also keeps their heads at the correct position for treatment. They watch the TV; we check their teeth, easy-peasy! Some of our kids even bring their own DVDs to watch while we treat them…you’re welcome !

This page is full of tips and ideas on how to ensure great dental care from infant up, how to handle your child’s first dental visit, and good habits at home. If you don’t find what you need feel free to come and see us!


dr_larika_robb
dr_larika_robb
dr_larika_robb
dr_larika_robb
dr_larika_robb

First Dental Visit - When should my child first see a dentist?

New parents often ask, "When should my child first see a dentist? “

The short answer is " the First visit by the first birthday." That's the view of the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry. The idea of such early dental visits is still surprising to many new parents. However, national studies have shown that preschool-aged children are getting more cavities. More than 1 in 4 children in the United States has had at least one cavity by the age of 4. Many kids get cavities as early as age 2.

It is generally recommended that kids see a dentist for the first time by their first birthday, and thereafter for twice-yearly dental check-ups. This way they get introduced to proper dental care habits from a very young age and tend not to be as fearful as when they are introduced at a later stage. It also ensures that cavities are picked up at an early stage, often needing minimal intervention, and in many cases might not even need injections to work on if still contained in the nerve-free enamel. This combined with proper dental hygiene care at home and diet, are the keys to ensuring pearly whites throughout childhood.

But if you haven’t done so already, our motto is better late than never!

By 2 1/2years most children have cut all of their baby teeth, so toddlerhood is a great time to instill good dental habits.

"Baby teeth are important because they hold space for permanent teeth. Decay in baby teeth also increases the risk of decay in permanent teeth. For some however, the first dental visit can be a scary proposition. Strange instruments, loud noises, and new faces can upset even the most nonchalant 2-year-old. But with careful preparation (and plenty of prizes/rewards), a first trip to the dentist can actually be fun.

Before You Go - To do and not to do

  • You are welcome to come and make the appointment in person and show your child/toddler around and familiarize them with the environment and our friendly staff

  • Please take note that it is part of our policy NOT to force children down into the chair OR into doing something/treatment they are not comfortable doing or fearful/not ready for. In such cases, we strongly recommend rather applying for authorization for theater time for in-hospital treatment where the child will be asleep and  treatment can be performed in a way that is less traumatic to the parents, the child as well as the dental team.

  • If your child has a sucking habit, be it the thumb, pacifier, or bottle, let the dentist know, as it may affect your child's teeth and jaw.

  • Also, be aware that sleeping with a bottle of milk or juice can cause tooth decay. During sleep, liquids in the mouth -- which are full of sugar and bacteria -- pool around the teeth and erode them

  • Talk to your child about what's going to happen.

  • Practice brushing with your child beforehand, too, so he/she will be used to having a toothbrush in his/her mouth.

  • DO NOT EVER tell a child that when they are naughty (even as a joke) you will tell or get the dentist or doctor to give them an injection. Children remember this and get extremely traumatized and develop genuine fears around needles and injections which last for life! At some point it is likely your child will need an injection for some reason…if you have made injections a punishment, not only will your child be traumatized, but you will have to hold your little one down while a very unhappy doctor or dentist tries their best not to hurt your child.

What to Expect at your first visit - Prepare yourself and your child

1. Meeting and Greeting

To make sure your child feels comfortable, formally introduce the child to the dentist on the first visit. We will explain each step of the check-up as we go along, show the child the tools we'll be using, and reassure the child. If they are still too fearful to sit alone they are welcome to sit on Mommy's or Daddy's lap and stop any procedure if they’re nervous by simply raising their hand.

2. Learning the Facts

The dentist may show your child how to brush with your help. "A dentist may also explain how the cavity creeps come out at night to harm teeth and how eating nutritious meals and drinking plenty of water keeps teeth healthy." She'll also use this time to address your questions and concerns.

3. Mastering the Machinery

The dentist will use this time to introduce the drill and the noises and vibrations it makes and determine the child's acceptance of the procedures that need to be performed. The first time we might illustrate by polishing action of the drill on your child’s finger. Or we could even illustrate by using a model – like mom or dad ;-).

4. Cleaning and Polishing

Next, the dentist will polish your child's teeth with a rotary toothbrush. Letting the child see and hear the brush before it's placed in his mouth helps put him/her at ease.

5. Finishing Touches

As with the other procedures she performs, the dentist will show your child how the sucking straw works before she uses it to remove extra toothpaste and saliva. As a final step, the dentist may apply a coat of topical fluoride. Research shows that periodic fluoride treatments prevent decay. A child should not eat or drink for 30 minutes after a fluoride treatment. (This is only done once your child can properly gather and spit out all the excess fluoride and not swallow any!)

6. Picking a Prize/reward from Rainbow’s Box

Every child that has ever been to our practice, knows the joys of Rainbow’s Box…Stickers, toy cars, key chains, games -- the more varied the grab bag, the better. We may let your child pick a prize/reward from Rainbow’s Box during the cleaning if he/she seems nervous. But if they get genuinely upset, they may not be ready for their first visit, which is perfectly fine, in which case, we cut it short and try again in 6 months’ time.

Rainbow toy box
Rainbow toy box
Rainbow toy box

Good Habits at Home

Early visits to the dentist are a good way to learn proper oral hygiene at an early age, including avoiding night-time bottles or sippy cups of formula or juice, proper tooth brushing, and a healthy diet that promotes good dental health.

Follow these tips to put your child on the road to a bright, healthy smile:

* Stop sucking habits as soon as possible. They lead to potential tooth misalignment.

* Choose a soft, kid-size brush. Replace the brush every three months.

* Use no more than a pea-size amount of toothpaste on your child's brush. This offers adequate fluoride and protection from fluorosis, a damaging oral condition caused by over-ingestion of fluoride.

* Help your toddler brush after breakfast and before bed. The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends that children under 8 brush with parents' help.

* Avoid sugary snacks and drinks. They stick to teeth and increase the risk of decay.

* Avoid foods and treats that increase tooth decay: sodas, hard or sticky candies, fruit juices, and sweetened drinks and juice. Offer fruit rather than juice; the fibre in fruit tends to scrape the teeth clean, whereas juice just exposes the teeth to sugar.

* If your child is unable to brush, rinse her mouth with water to wash away food particles and sugar.

* Call your community's water department to find out whether your water is fluorinated, and talk to your dentist about the best fluoride treatment.
 

WHY DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE ROTTEN TEETH?

Tooth decay isn't a problem that affects only adults. Toddler tooth decay is a concern for parents because 42 percent of children aged 2 to 11 develop a cavity in their primary teeth, reports the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Nearly 28 percent of children aged 2 to 5 develop at least one cavity. This may lead a parent to wonder what causes tooth decay, how to prevent it and how to treat it.

What Causes Tooth Decay in Toddlers?

Tooth decay occurs in toddlers when bacteria within the mouth begin to eat away at the primary teeth. Tooth decay is also known as a cavity or dental caries. Inadequate dental care and not brushing your child's teeth enough can be causes of decay.

According to the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a common cause of toddler tooth decay is going to bed with a bottle. This particular condition is known as baby bottle tooth decay. The milk or juice from the bottle can sit in your tot's mouth all night and create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

Unhealthy eating habits contribute to tooth decay, too. Allowing your child to suck on candy for prolonged periods or to eat a lot of sugary foods will play a role.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

To prevent tooth decay in toddlers, you shouldn't let your child go to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup of milk or juice. If you give your child a drink before bed or to help him go to sleep, always choose water. The AAPD recommends that children drink milk or sugary drinks quickly instead of sipping them slowly. This reduces the amount of time during which teeth are exposed to decay-causing sugars from the drinks in a bottle or sippy cup.

Make sure you brush and floss your child's teeth daily, and be sure to avoid sugary foods. Foods that are high in acid, such as citrus fruits, will weaken the enamel and make your child's teeth more susceptible to cavities.

You should brush your toddler's teeth with a soft-bristled brush at least twice per day and after your child eats sweets. You shouldn't, however, use a fluoride toothpaste until your little one is at least 2 years old or when they can spit the fluoride toothpaste out of their mouth and not swallow it. When they do reach this age, try a kid-friendly toothpaste. To brush correctly, you or your child should hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and use gentle strokes over the entire surface of the teeth and along the gum line. Each brushing should last at least 2 minutes.

Treatment for Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Once a child has developed tooth decay, they will require dental work. Fillings may be used to correct smaller cavities, and a full crown may be needed if the damage is extensive. This will prevent the bacteria from spreading. A tooth that has decay throughout, may have to be extracted.

As a parent, in addition to your role in the protection of your child's baby and adult teeth, you're laying the groundwork for their oral hygiene for the rest of their life. This means you should start good habits early so that they maintain a healthy set of adult teeth.

The fact that your toddler's teeth are going to fall out doesn't mean you can ignore a child's oral care. Good oral health habits will prevent tooth decay in the first set of teeth, and the habits your children learn will stick with them throughout their life.

Book a consultation with us to start their journey to better oral health.
 

Fissure Sealants

You should also talk to your dentist about using sealants in your school age child. A sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the teeth, hardens and provides a barrier against plaque and other harmful substances. Sealants can be applied to the 1st and 2nd permanent molars to help protect the grooves and pits of these teeth that can be hard to clean and are prone to developing cavities, and appropriate premolars as soon as possible after they erupt (usually after 6 years of age).

Tooth Fairy Helper Kits

  • So you’ve lost a few teeth in a shoe or under the pillow or maybe the dog ate it? Or you forgot…
  • Let us make your life as “Tooth Fairy / Tandmuis” SO magical...even you won’t forget!
  • Our tooth fairy kits come with a Tooth Fairy branded tin to place the pearly white inside, as well as a small letter your child can fill out for the Tooth Fairy; as well as a link to an article for yourself to read on stem cells in primary teeth. That will highlight the importance of saving your child’s tooth in a safe place.
  • Visit us today, and let us kit you up with your very own Tooth Fairy Kit!

There’s it…an easy trade off, pearly white and letter out, cash in…and you’re off.

 

drlarikarobb