For the dentist, a child is a grateful and difficult patient. Above all, because he or she does not control his or her behaviour and expresses his or her feelings in a very direct way, e.g. he or she can strongly refuse to open his or her mouth, fill the dentist with a hail of strange questions or suddenly get up and run away from the chair while crying desperately. The matter is complicated by the fact that children at different stages of development react to the same stimulus in a completely different way – what for a three-year-old is a terrifying experience (e.g. the sight of a white apron), in a nine-year-old does not evoke much emotion.
A child’s visit to the dentist’s office can be an extremely stressful experience – not only for the toddler himself, but also for his parents and the entire medical staff.
In order to cope with the violent emotions of a small patient and consistently carry out the treatment, the dentist must have the competence to facilitate contact with small children (patience, empathy, firmness, the gift of persuasion).
In our Vinci Clinic, we strive to build mutual contact with small children from the first visit to ensure them the greatest possible psychological comfort. Therefore, first we invite the child to an adaptation visit.
We also provide it:
- painless treatment of milk teeth under anesthesia,
- ozone aided dental caries treatment,
- teeth fluoridation with preparations of high fluorine concentration (varnish, strawberry foam)
- sealing of furrows and hollows.
We know very well how important role parents play in preparing a child for a visit to the dentist. Therefore, we are happy to answer their questions and dispel any doubts. During the adaptation visit we explain:
- how to take proper care of children’s teeth,
- how to talk to your child about the treatment he’s going to get,
- how to deal with childhood denophobia.
The first visit is crucial
The first meeting with the dentist is particularly important, as it determines the child’s later attitude towards treatment. Both the dentist and parents must make every effort to ensure that the stay at the dentist’s office is a pleasant experience for the little patient and that the little one does not associate the “doctor of teeth” only with pain, fear and suffering.
How to prepare a child for the first visit?
Never scare a toddler with a visit to the office, a white apron, dangerous ticks and a “tooth drill”.
- Don’t infect your baby with your fear – if you are afraid of the dentist and subconsciously design your fears for your baby, ask someone around you to take care of your baby. Often the nervousness of mom or dad is given to the little patient and provokes negative mental reactions (rebellion, anger, fear, hysteria, overwhelming desire to escape).
- Before the visit, prepare the child emotionally for it, do not hide the real reason for meeting the dentist. When explaining the purpose of the visit, adjust vocabulary to the level of the child, avoid overly professional or drastic terms.
- Explain what the dentist’s job is, using commercially available books and educational toys. Playing the “dentist” will familiarize your child with the tools used in the office, while allowing you to smuggle information about proper oral hygiene.
- Never blame your toddler for poor dental health. Don’t emphasize that the child is guilty of himself, because he ate too many cakes and sweets. After all, you are the child’s guardian and you are the one who has a decisive influence on his/her daily diet.
- The time of the visit and the duration of the procedure should be adjusted to the rhythm of the child’s day – if your toddler has specific meal and nap times, do not make an appointment to see the dentist during this time.
- Go to the dentist with your child, there will be problems with his or her teeth in the CUTTOM. The first visit should be adaptive and associated with an interesting adventure for the child. Its primary goal is to build trust in a young patient and eliminate anxiety associated with the treatment.
Unfortunately, yes. Bottle caries is characteristic for children who have been bottle-fed for a long time. It should be remembered that there is a lot of sugar in the liquids given to a child – milk, fruit juices and teas – which is an ideal medium for bacteria. Since when drinking from a bottle the contact between the fluid and the teeth is longer than when drinking from a cup, conditions are created in the oral cavity which are conducive to the multiplication of microorganisms. This type of caries very often occurs in children who fall asleep with a bottle or are thus fed at night. During sleep, the secretion of saliva decreases, which has a very important function in the oral cavity: it protects our teeth against erosive changes, and thus against the formation of tartar and development of caries. Moreover, it contains substances essential for the remineralisation process, i.e. spontaneous, natural repair of damaged enamel. Reduced saliva secretion, long-lasting contact of sweet liquids with teeth – these two factors determine the rapid development of bottle caries.
The first symptom of early caries is chalk-white decalcification, appearing in the cervical region of the upper calipers. However, the white spots quickly turn light yellow, brown or black and spread from the gingival area to the edge of the teeth. It is worth adding here that early caries are often confused by parents with dental plaque or underdevelopment of enamel.
The prevailing view today is that a child should visit the dentist as soon as the first teeth appear, usually between 6 and 12 months of age.
You should take care of your baby’s oral hygiene even if he has no teeth yet. To prevent bottle caries, parents should gently clean the surface of their gums with a soft, clean cloth after each feeding (it would be a good idea to wipe the palate and tongue as this is also where bacteria like to collect). If your baby already has his first teeth, wipe them after each meal with a finger wrapped in gauze soaked in warm camomile or boiled water and give your baby water to rinse his mouth. It is also not allowed to get the child used to drinking sweet drinks just before bedtime and at night.
Because for some time after breaking through the gum, the first permanent molar is below the occlusal plane, it is “hidden” behind the milk fives, making it difficult to clean properly. The food scraps that accumulate in this area accelerate the development of caries and often cause gingivitis.