At Rapport Dentistry we believe it is never too early to show your children how to care for their teeth.
We encourage our patients to bring their children with them to the practice from an early age, helping them get use to the sights, smells and sounds of the dental practice.
We look forward to welcoming your children
All children up to the age of 11 will be entitled to Free Dental Examinations, Free Preventive Health Instruction, Free X rays and should treatment be necessary, we offer a subsidised scale of charges. For children from the ages of 12-17, there is reduced pricing for all general dental care.
For children without a parent or guardian registered with the practice, a children’s fee price will be charged.
We want your child’s first and subsequent visits to us to be positive, fun and not something to be anxious or worried about. We also like to reward children who work hard to keep their teeth clean. We can provide brushing charts to record every time they brush their teeth for two minutes in the morning and before they go to bed.
Even before teething starts, it is advisable to encourage your child to clean their mouth after food or bottle feeding. There are great products on the market like oral wipes for infants or soft finger cloth toothbrushes. As soon as the first two teeth on the lower jaw come through, start using a soft baby brush every morning and evening with just a “smear” of toothpaste containing fluoride while still continuing with the wipes after milk or food.
We would like to see them when they are about one, then again at two years old, and after that twice yearly. That way we can catch signs of proneness to decay or crooked teeth and develop a prevention strategy in time to make a difference.
Ideally the milk teeth will become so loose and bothersome, that your child will want you or us to help remove them. Of course, often the tooth falls out or “disappears” while eating (this is not a problem - it will pass naturally).
As soon as the first tooth appears, teeth should always be thoroughly brushed twice daily. They should be brushed for at least two minutes with an electric toothbrush and at least three minutes by hand.
To ensure strong healthy teeth and to develop good lifelong dental habits it is important to brush a child’s teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth.
Electric toothbrushes, however, are not suitable for babies and children under the age of three. To ensure that they receive the best possible oral care you should brush with a specially designed toothbrush, such as the Oral B Stages 1 toothbrush, which has a rounded head and soft bristles, using a small amount of toothpaste. For babies of three months and over it may also be beneficial to use teeth wipes to prevent baby bottle tooth decay.
For older children, manufacturers including Braun Oral B and Phillips have developed a range of child friendly electric brushes. The Oral B brush is easy for small hands to hold with a ‘squish grip’ handle, and smaller head. The Phillips Sonicare for Kids has two power options for different stages of oral development and two handle grips suitable for the use of either parent or child.
Whether using a manual or electric brush, it is recommended that until the age of seven you should help children brush their teeth in order to develop good technique and ensure a thorough clean.
Electric brushes can be beneficial as they help children, who have less manual dexterity than adults, to clean hard-to-reach places such as the backs of the teeth.
Many brushes also have built in timers to ensure that they brush for the recommended two minutes and musical tones and pictures which make brushing a fun activity. The novelty of using an electric toothbrush can help encourage children to brush regularly, although children under ten should be supervised when using them. Avoid mashing the tufts against the teeth and instead use light force and slow movements, to allow the electric bristle action to do its job.
Children’s brushing should be supervised until age seven when they are not at risk of swallowing the toothpaste. Children aged up to three should use a smear of toothpaste and those aged three to six should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. You should encourage children to spit, not rinse.
Twice yearly is standard and the minimum. If the parents have problems (gum disease or “bad teeth”) or the children have had a history of decay, three or even four times a year is beneficial.
The two most important things to remember when a tooth accident happens are firstly, time matters – get to us as soon as possible, and secondly look for and bring all pieces of tooth you can find.
Tooth grinding, headaches in the morning, muscle spasms, receding gums, speech difficulties, not being able to close lips without consciously doing it and cracking noisy jaw opening could all be signs that orthodontic treatment is needed. If you are in any doubt come and see us so we can take a look.
The best protection against dental sports injuries is from a bespoke mouth guard. A custom fit gum shield is far superior to ‘boil and bite’ or off-the-shelf gum shields as it is unique to each person’s mouth and fits better as it is made from an accurate impression of your mouth.
A custom-made mouth guard can be up to 2.5mm thicker, act as a shock-absorber following impact and spreads the load following a blow. The contact area of a custom-made mouth guard is greater, breathing is not hindered, it will not move during activity, and speech is less impaired. The British Dental Health Foundation recommends the use of custom-made mouthguards.
Signs of gum disease – which include bad breath, red gum lines, bleeding while brushing or flossing teeth – can show as early as nine or ten years of age. If your child starts to show any of these symptoms please make an appointment with us so we can take a look and start any treatment that is needed in good time.
My two children saw Matthew Brooks recently having just moved to the area. Matthew has a very calm and reassuring manner and is extremely knowledgeable and professional. The practice is in a purpose built building and is well equipped and very well run.