FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:-How may I best prepare my child if this is his/her first visit and what is the procedure at this visit?Dr Bloom, along with our specially trained dental staff will help to ensure that your child has an effective, positive and rewarding dental experience. A visit to the dentist can be a pleasant adventure for your child.You can play a large part in preparing your youngster for his/her first visit to the dentist. Try to act relaxed and at ease. Any anxiety on your part will probably be sensed by your child. Tell your child that we will “count” and “take pictures” of his/her teeth. Do not use any fear provoking words such as “hurt, drill, pull, and needle.” Avoid statements like “the doctor will not hurt you.” (If I say to you, “Don’t think of a banana!” what is the first thing you think of? A banana! It’s the same with the word “hurt.
“We will thoroughly explain each of our procedures to your child in terms that he/she can understand before we do it.
Afterwards, we will review your child’s history, diagnosis, or specific problems.
At this visit we will emphasize oral hygiene techniques to be practiced by both you and your child. We will answer any questions you may have. A full examination of the teeth and supporting structures will be done and occlusion (bite) will be evaluated. Radiographs (x-rays) will be taken as necessary (not routinely) to assure a thorough and comprehensive examination.
Subsequent appointments for restorations may be scheduled, as needed. When treatment has been completed, your child will be placed on a periodic exam schedule and you will receive a reminder card when the visit is due.
What is your philosophy of treatment?
Our emphasis is on “prevention” both in the surgery and at home. We recommend regular periodic exams and cleanings as well as positive and thorough home care. Home care includes limited sweets, brushing at least twice a day and possibly fluoride supplements. Because the primary teeth form the basis of the adult dentition, we will do everything possible to preserve the integrity of your child’s dentition while fostering a healthy and relaxed attitude toward dental care.
We offer a full range of dental services for children, adolescents, and the exceptional child, including restorative treatment, preventive dental care, and orthodontic referrals when appropriate.
When will the condition of my child’s teeth and supporting structures be discussed with me?
At the conclusion of your child’s visit, Dr Bloom will explain what he’s found and what treatment he recommends.
Why are primary teeth as important as permanent teeth?
Your child’s primary teeth are extremely important. Children need strong healthy teeth to chew their food easily, to speak clearly, and to look good to themselves and their friends. Primary teeth also help reserve space in the jaw for the permanent teeth, and when lost prematurely can pose future orthodontic complications. Just as important, your child’s general health can be affected if diseased and broken primary teeth are not treated early.
What is the recommended age to take my child for their first dental visit?
The British Dental Association recommends that it is best to take your child to the dentist between six and twelve months of age. In addition to checking for decay and other problems, the dentist will teach you proper techniques to clean your child’s teeth as well as evaluate for any negative habits such as thumb sucking. At the first exam Doctor Bloom will also be able to determine your child’s fluoride needs.Moreover when children attend at the earliest age,a bond of trust is formed which facilitates any future “active” restorative treatment (should the need arise).
Brushing and can help remove harmful plaque bacteria. A child-size brush with soft, rounded or polished bristles is recommended. Check your child’s toothbrush often and replace it when it is worn. Bent or frayed bristles will not remove plaque effectively and may injure gums. Begin daily brushing as soon as the child’s first tooth erupts. A pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough not to swallow it. By age 4 or 5, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day with supervision until about age seven to make sure they are doing a thorough job. However, each child is different.
Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. When teaching how to brush, you may wish to stand behind the child and hold the brush to be certain that brushing is done properly.
Children who receive a balanced diet will get all the nutrients they need with one possible exception — fluoride. Fluoride is vital for strong, decay-resistant teeth. Fluoride is one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. This mineral combines with tooth enamel to strengthen it against decay. Fluoride may also reverse microscopic cavities by enhancing the process in which minerals, including calcium, are incorporated into the teeth.
The most effective way for your child to get fluoride’s protection is by drinking water containing the right amount of the mineral, (about one part fluoride per million parts water). This is of special benefit to children, because fluoride is built into the enamel as teeth form. Children who from birth drink water containing fluoride have up to 50 percent fewer cavities. Many of them remain cavity free through their teens.
However in the UK only 10% of the water supply is fluoridated which is why fluoride supplements are often indicated.
Although it is beneficial for a child to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, children under age six should be supervised to avoid swallowing toothpaste. Use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the child’s brush. Children should be taught to spit out remaining toothpaste and rinse with water after brushing.
Before you give your child any vitamin or supplement that contains fluoride, check with your dentist to see if one is needed. Based on your dentist’s assessment of your family’s oral health, the use of additional fluoride-containing products may or may not be recommended.
Sealants are helping to create a generation of youngsters that are nearly cavity-free.
Statistics show that one out of every three children between the ages of 5 and 17 has never had a cavity. Dental professionals attribute water fluoridation and use of sealants with helping to bring about this rapid decline in cavities.
The use of sealants does not eliminate the need for regular attention to dental care. Dentists recommend regular brushing along with attention to the amount of sugary foods consumed, and to the frequency with which they are eaten. The teeth are subjected to a 20-minute acid attack every time sugary foods are eaten causing an erosive action that can break down healthy enamel.
The plastic-like coating, called pit and fissure sealant, is applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth and to indentations and nicks in the teeth’s surfaces. It is used by dentists as a preventive measure to ward off decay that tends to settle into hidden crevices in the teeth.
The preventive plastics also are used to seal “fissures,” or joint lines in a tooth’s enamel created while the tooth is being formed. A perfect fissure should be tightly sealed, but often several spots along the length of the fissure will open directly into the tooth.
Food and bacteria collect there. This eventually weakens the tooth and causes decay. Sealants help during the formative stages so they can withstand the effect of sugar and stress later on.
To apply the sealant, the dentist first deans the tops and sides of selected teeth. The tooth enamel is then treated with a solution that etches the surface of the tooth, causing it to be temporarily porous and somewhat rough.
The liquid sealant, clear or milky white in color, is applied and is set hard using a powerful blue light. Within a few days, the excess plastic wear off, leaving the sealant only on the pits and fissures. The plastic covering is only temporary, and must be checked periodically for flaws.