At Dental Wellbeing we have a strong focus on prevention;
which is why we love seeing children early as we can help
prevent a lot of the problems we see in adults. We are often
asked "when should I take my child to the dentist for
the first time?" and the answer is, as early as possible,
from two years old onwards.
This early start is vital so we
can diagnose any developing problems; it also helps kids
view a trip to the dentist
as a pleasant experience from a very early age. Most
have all their baby teeth by the age of two and parents
need to be aware that they should supervise their child's
hygiene until the age of six or seven. Younger children
just don't have the manual dexterity or discipline
to be left
in charge of cleaning their teeth.
At the first visit, we determine the likely risk of decay
for the individual child and ask parents about lifestyle
issues such as sleeping patterns, sinus problems, asthma,
allergies, breathing characteristics during sleep, diet and
One of our main concerns when examining children is to make
sure growth and development is happening at an optimum level.
Poor development can result in:
- Jaw joint problems which can lead to tooth grinding
- Headaches or migraines
- Airway obstruction, which can result
in snoring or apnoea in children
and in adults
- Middle ear infections and ear equalisation problems
- Underdeveloped jaws and lower face resulting
in crowded teeth and a need for costly braces
- Decay and gum problems
- Impacted wisdom teeth which may need
- Abnormal swallowing
- Bed wetting
We use all the latest equipment for the diagnosis and treatment
of decay in children including a Diagnodent which is a laser
density meter that can identify decay in areas we can't see
with the naked eye or x-rays.
We also use micro dentistry
equipment when sealing or restoring teeth so we can keep
the size of the repair very small and preserve as much
tooth structure as possible. We often recommend orthotrainers
correct abnormal muscle patterns in chewing and swallowing
during the development years and we can help older children
with mouthguards for protection during sport.
One topic we feel very strongly about is encouraging correct
breathing or "nose breathing" for the correct growth
and development of a child's jaws and lower face. It is crucial
that abnormal conditions such as mouth breathing or tongue
thrust- swallow should be diagnosed and resolved as soon
as possible as they have the potential to quickly affect
a child's growth.
The common trend has been to wait until
a child is fully grown before starting any treatment.
This leaves only limited options for treatment. We feel it
a much better option to prevent development problems
by maintaining a clear airway and expanding the jaws if they
behind the rest of the growing face. This can be done
simple exercises or the use of orthotrainers at the beginning
and jaw expansion appliances later on.