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Children’s Dentistry

Some children start teething from the age of three months and some as late as 18 months. There are many toothbrushes and toothpastes commercially available that have been specifically designed for all stages of dental development in children.

Teeth should be brushed twice a day with a specially formulated children’s toothpaste as soon as the first tooth makes its appearance.

At what age should you bring your child for their first dental visit?

All children are different, but ideally your child should have his/her first dental exam at about three years old. This visit is generally an introduction to the dentist and will ideally be a pleasant experience that ensures your child is not frightened for future visits.

During this visit, the dentist will allow your child to sit on the dental chair and all of the applicable instruments will be shown and explained to him/her. A brief check-up with a dental mirror and probe will be done and if your child co-operates, the dentist will continue by polishing his/her teeth, administering fluoride and taking diagnostic x-rays.

It is advisable not to have any fillings or extractions done on the very first visit, as this could traumatise or instil a fear of dentists in your child. We recommend that you do not wait for a dental problem to arise before bringing your child for their first visit.

Children should have dental examinations once every six months so that any decay or other conditions can be diagnosed and treated early. We suggest that you bring in your little one at an early stage to show them how much fun going to the dentist can be, as opposed to bringing them in when they have pain!

What to do with an uncooperative child who needs dental treatment?

N2O, an anxiolytic also known as “happy gas” or “laughing gas”, is available at our practice. It is administered by placing a rubber mask over the child’s nose. This is a method of conscious inhalation sedation and has proven to be very safe and effective with few contra-indications. 

The patient is awake and alert during the procedure and may feel a little drowsy. Local anaesthetic is needed in most cases, as N2O is only a relative analgesic.
N2O is efficiently exhaled by the lungs and once the procedure is complete, oxygen is given to the patient for recovery.

Patients who are very young or extremely uncooperative can be taken to theatre where treatment can be done under general anaesthetic.

Is it necessary to give your child additional fluoride tablets?

No it is not!  Too much systemic consumption of fluoride during the development of teeth could lead to a condition called Fluorosis. Fluorosis causes white or brown staining of the permanent teeth. Currently, fluoride can be found in trace amounts in our water and in many baby products, therefore, if a child brushes twice a day, with children’s toothpaste, it is not necessary to give additional fluoride tablets. In addition, specially formulated mouth rinses are available for children who are at high risk of developing decay or children wearing orthodontic appliances.

Further Information

To make an appointment call or for more information call 011 902 2391.

Do you want to know more or need a consultation?