A look at our role in helping your children to grow up with healthy teeth and gums.
It may sometimes appear that the dental profession often focuses largely on the more complex procedures that offer both oral health and aesthetic benefits, such as dental implants.
Digging deep into complex procedures can be fascinating and they are also very important for those patients that need to receive these treatments.
At the Foxhall Dental Practice, whilst we are delighted to be able to offer specialist treatments for our patients, we still feel that it is important to emphasise our role as family dentists for Ipswich patients. The oral health care that children receive, from very young, right through their teenage years, can have a long term effect on their life. With many oral health issues now being linked to long term medical conditions, this is becoming even more the case.
Your child’s first visit to the dentist
It isn’t unusual for parents not to bring their children to see a dentist until they are at primary school, and sometimes well beyond that. The argument may seem logical that until they have their teeth, there is little point, but this is not the case. There are many benefits to taking them to see a dentist at around one year old, despite their lack of teeth at this age.
This very early visit allows us to check their overall oral health. Despite having no teeth, gum problems can still occur. In most cases, no treatment will be needed though we may offer advice on how to keep their mouths healthy. There is also evidence to suggest that visits at such a young age help children to avoid any fear of the dentist in later life, due to their early familiarity with the dental environment.
We have heard it said that a child’s first teeth are not that important as they only have them for a short while, and it is the adult teeth that are important. From a layperson’s perspective, this line of thinking may be understandable. But from a dentists, and child’s, viewpoint, it certainly isn’t.
Poor teeth, even the first set, can cause problems with eating and even create speech impediments. Both of these could have long lasting effects which could affect a child’s quality of life as they grow up. In addition to this, poor oral care may affect not only their first teeth but also the next set of teeth that are growing beneath them, ready to erupt.
Whatever age you are, a decaying tooth that is causing you pain is no fun. We are sure that no parent wants to see their children in pain and preventing their teeth from reaching this stage, through regular checkups, alongside good oral care at home, is the best way to avoid this. Where appropriate, we can also offer fissure sealants and fluoride treatment which can help your child avoid tooth decay.
The teenage years
If we think hard enough, some of us will probably remember our rebellious teenage phase where everything our parents did or said was ‘wrong’. It is often at this age when looking after teeth can become a problem. Where the rebellion extends to not brushing their teeth, combined with more independence and often an increased consumption of sugary food and drinks, things can go badly wrong. This is also the time when teens may experiment with smoking and other substances that can affect the health of their teeth as well as their general health.
Whilst it is the role of the parent to encourage their children, dental advice is often best heard from a dentist rather than someone who they may see as an ‘authority figure’. The dentists and hygienists at our Ipswich family dental practice are experienced in treating teenage patients, usually successfully gently guiding them towards better oral health care.
At this age too, we may advise the use of braces to prevent teeth from protruding or becoming crooked. We have a wide range of modern orthodontics that can achieve this in a very discreet manner, preventing potential embarrassment from having to wear unsightly metal braces.
Of course, a family dentist offers care not just for the young, but all ages too. Whether you have a young child or older relatives in your care, you can be sure of the best treatment possible at the Foxhall Dental Practice. If you would like to find out more about what we can offer the whole family, please call our Ipswich practice on 01473 258396, for an appointment.