The care and treatment of children’s teeth
De Necker offers a variety of dental treatments including paedodontics which is the branch of dentistry that deals with the care and treatment of children’s teeth. De Necker Dentistry promotes the dental health of children and serves as educational resources for parents.
Early detection is vital to preventing tooth decay and maintaining good oral care for children. Children can usually cooperate in the dental chair from the age of three to four years, when they have the cognitive ability to understand the reason for visiting the dentist. At their first appointment we will only introduce them to the environment and perhaps a clean or polish of the teeth.
In more serious cases where a lot of restorative work needs to be done and the child does not cooperate in the dental chair, we will consider taking the child to theatre where general anaesthetic will be used under the supervision of an anaesthetist.
At approximately six months the first primary teeth start to erupt. By the age of 2,5 to 3 years, toddlers should have all 20 primary teeth. Some of these primary teeth (primary molars) only exfoliate at the age of 10 to 12 years, making it a good reason to take good care of these teeth from the early years.
Questions frequently asked by parents
When do the permanent teeth erupt/when does my child lose his first milk tooth?
The first permanent tooth will erupt at the age of +/- 6 however there are children who start to lose teeth at the age of five and some only at the age of seven, making it impossible to predict the precise time of eruption.
Do we need to brush milk teeth?
Yes. Your child should brush twice daily or the parent should brush their children’s teeth when they are too young to do it themselves.
What is baby bottle caries?
Baby bottle caries exist when we have carious/decayed teeth because of teeth being exposed for long periods (especially at night time) to the contents of a bottle, where sugar is usually the main ingredient. This results in extensive decay which is especially visible on the front top teeth. It is advisable that a child should be weaned off from a bottle at the age of two.
How often should my child visit the dentist?
At least every six months.
What is the ideal age to consider having braces done?
It all depends on the malocclusion (jaw relationship) of the child. Most of the time braces (fixed banding) are only considered when all the permanent teeth are present. Various orthodontic appliances (plates) can be considered to stimulate or alter the growth at an early age already or even to correct a minor malocclusion.
Should I give my child fluoride supplements?
We advise that children should not receive any fluoride supplements before their permanent front teeth have erupted. The amount of fluoride intake is difficult to determine (there is fluoride in food, water and toothpaste), and excessive intake can result in visible white spots on the teeth. In severe cases these spots may turn brown.
Adhering to the above practises and setting a good example from an early age should prevent a traumatic experience for your child at the dentist and guarantee healthy teeth for longer.