First visit to the surgery
A child’s natural reaction is fear connected with unfamiliarity with new surroundings, people or tools, therefore a young patient needs to be properly prepared for a dental visit. The first visit in our office, regardless of whether the child’s attitude is negative or positive, is an adaptation visit, during which the child has the opportunity to get accustomed to the office and get acquainted with the medical personnel.
A child-friendly waiting room, smiling staff experienced in working with children and modern materials and equipment give the possibility of a fruitful cooperation with a young patient. We strive to create a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere for both the young patient and their parent or guardian, so that the child feels safe and trusts us.
The equipment and facilities in a dental surgery have a huge impact on children’s feelings and behaviour, and thus on the success of preventive and therapeutic activities. At our clinic, the young patient gets to know the equipment and all the tools that can be used during the treatment. The doctor discusses the treatment in detail and explains what the child may feel. Depending on the age of the patient, we often resort to various methods to stimulate the child’s imagination and divert his or her attention from the procedure itself. We never lie to our patients or take them by surprise.
We also try to make the visits as short as possible so as not to tire the child and not to cause injury. At the same time, to encourage cooperation we use scented petroleum jelly, flavoured fluoride preparations, colourful fillings for milk teeth, we reward visits with small gifts, we hand out diplomas “for courage” and “Brave Patient” passports.
Positive role models and skilful motivation of the child make subsequent preventive or therapeutic visits pleasant and fear-free.
The modern equipment for computer anaesthesia “The Wand” and the possibility of inhalation sedation with “laughing gas” favour admission of even the most sensitive young patients.
In our practice we offer:
When is the first visit?
It is important that the child’s first visit to the dentist’s office takes place just after the eruption of the first deciduous teeth, i.e. around 6 – 12 months of age. During the visit parents receive advice on diet and care of erupting teeth, and the development of the face and oral cavity is monitored.
Healthy mother’s teeth and proper hygienic habits are the basis for the proper development of the child’s dental buds; therefore, prophylaxis should start even before the child is born. The safest time for dental treatment of the mother-to-be is the second trimester of pregnancy and at this time all the teeth should be treated and all sources of infection should be removed from the oral cavity. Today’s dentistry has suitable anaesthetics that can be safely used even by pregnant women. When the baby is born, the gums should be regularly cleaned with a sterile gauze pad soaked in boiled water or camomile infusion and massaged with a rubber brush.
When the first tooth appears, a special toothbrush for children (age-appropriate) should be used, e.g. a silicon finger cap. Parents should supervise brushing their children’s teeth until they are 6 years old, gradually introducing the child to independent hygiene and teaching them the correct method of brushing. There is a wide range of toothpastes for children on the market, however, we should try to choose those that are chemically produced and, apart from their taste, will first of all protect milk teeth against decay. It is recommended to use toothpastes for milk teeth with reduced fluoride content (250-500 ppm) due to the fact that not all children at this age can rinse their mouths, and consequently a large part of the toothpaste is swallowed.
If no caries is found in deciduous teeth, it is advisable to protect the teeth with a fluoride preparation designed specifically for toddlers once every 6 months and to pay regular check-ups. As this procedure is absolutely painless it may be the beginning of the child’s adventure with the dentist’s surgery. However, if caries is detected, the teeth should be treated first and then fluoridated, which should be repeated every 3 months.
Treatment of deciduous teeth
In our office we use painless preparation of cavities by means of abrasive sandblasting. This method, however, works well
However, this method is only suitable for small cavities; if there are larger carious lesions, milk teeth are treated like permanent teeth using traditional methods.
The main aim of treating milk teeth is to preserve them until their natural replacement. Premature extraction of teeth is avoided as this procedure may cause abnormalities in the permanent dentition, i.e. crowding, incorrect position or retention of the tooth in the bone.
Therefore, we should remember that early and pain-free contact of the child with the dentist, regular visits and taking care of milk teeth will pay off in the future with a beautiful and healthy smile and will prevent the development of dentophobia.