Children's Dentistry

We are dedicated to the oral health of our patients from infancy and into adulthood. Our Brentwood dentists aim to educate our younger patients and prevent dental disease rather than treat it at a later date.

When Should Children Start Visiting the Dentist?

Our team cares for children’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood, starting when a baby’s first teeth appear. We encourage parents and caregivers to bring their little ones to see us when the first tooth comes in. Your baby’s first appointment should happen before their first birthday.

Without proper care, the risk of decay and disease increases for children, which is why we recommend you take them to the dentist early. Children get help caring for their teeth from their guardians and our team of dental professionals.

The first dental visit is for guardian education about how to care for your child’s teeth, and introduce your little ones to our Brentwood dental clinic and team. The more exposure they get with our practice, the less overwhelmed they tend to feel for future visits. Studies show that postponing the first dental visit until a child is two or three increases their chances of more preventative, restorative and emergency dental visits.

Tips on Bringing Your Child to the Dentist

There are special considerations for children’s dental visits. Young children often lack patience and cooperation during their appointment. We always start off their visit making sure children are comfortable before attempting to clean their teeth or treat their oral health.

There are some things you can do to make your child’s visit to our dental practice more pleasant:

  • Book an appointment time mindfully. Choose an appointment time when your child is typically at their best. Many children fare well during morning appointments, however, this may not be the case for little ones who tend to wake up cranky. Also try to avoid booking their appointment around nap time, as tired children tend to have less patience.
  • Feed them before their appointment. Being hungry doesn’t always bring out the best in any of us. A light meal or snack shortly before their appointment tides them over and helps them feel more comfortable in the dental chair.
  • Come prepared with medical (or dental) history. Having specific information on our patients helps us treat them better and recommend suitable treatment plans. If your child has a medical condition, currently takes any medication or has had any dental work done (including emergency care), please let us know.
  • Help them look forward to the visit. When you talk about visiting the dentist, try to use words that spark curiosity rather than fear. If you have a dental phobia or dental anxiety, it may help to have another guardian or relative bring your child to their appointment, so your fears don’t transfer to them. If your child is old enough, encourage them to ask the dentist questions, which will help them feel empowered and more comfortable.

Dental Treatments for Children

At Hutton Village Dental Practice, we offer standard services for children including:

  • Infant oral health exams
  • Preventative dental care, including cleaning and fluoride treatments for older children
  • Habit counselling to address pacifier use and thumb sucking
  • Early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite
  • Repairing tooth cavities or defects
  • Management of gum diseases and conditions

Preventative Dental Treatments for Children

For our younger patients, we offer fluoride applications and fissure sealants which help prevent dental decay and maintain good oral health.

Fluoride Applications

For this treatment, we use fluoride, a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel safely. Fluoride applications help prevent or slow tooth decay and stop it from getting worse. We apply the fluoride two to four times a year depending on how likely we anticipate your child getting a cavity.

This treatment takes only a few minutes, and it does not cause any pain or discomfort. The fluoride hardens quickly for almost-instant protection. After fluoride application, your child can eat soft foods and drink right away. They should avoid hot foods and liquids as directed by the dentist.

Fissure Sealants

All permanent teeth have natural grooves on the tooth’s surface. These grooves are called fissures. Deeper fissures need to be sealed to keep food and bacteria from getting caught within the grooves and causing decay.

Fissure sealants are a protective coating applied to the biting surface of the permanent molars and premolars as they come in. This treatment only takes a few minutes. The tooth is cleaned, prepared with a special solution and dried before we apply the liquid sealant. Following application, we harden the sealant using a bright light. This protective layer lasts many years but can wear over time. During a check-up we always ensure the seal is still intact and replace it if necessary.

Preventative Dental Care Starts at Home

Regular check-ups are important year round, but good dental habits start before your child’s first tooth appears. Children should brush for two minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day. Here are some tips for each age group:

Newborn to One-Year-Old
Babies’ teeth start coming in around six months old. At this age, keeping their mouth and gums clean usually involves gentle wiping with a soft, damp cloth. We like to see our youngest patients around this time, so we can educate parents on how to effectively brush their teeth.

Toddlers and Young Children (Ages 1 to 8)
Toddlers and younger children need to establish good habits around cleaning their teeth. While it may be difficult for some parents to get into all the nooks and crannies with a toothbrush, it’s important to ensure that each tooth gets cleaned on all sides twice a day. Though baby teeth eventually fall out, starting around age 6, they still need to be taken care of to reduce issues with their permanent teeth growing in.

Adolescents and Teens (Ages 9 and Up)
This age group should be sufficiently cleaning their teeth on their own. However, as is the case with older children and teens, they may simply not brush their teeth or do so quickly and not clean all the areas of their mouth. Establishing good habits when they are younger increases the likelihood they will care for their teeth properly during this phase of life.

Book Your Child's First Dental Appointment at Hutton Village

We look forward to meeting your little ones at our Brentwood family dentist. Book an appointment at our UK dental practice through our online booking system or by calling 01277 245390.