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Answers to parents on issues of their children’s dental health

The decisive role of the parents.

Parents can help their children to assume greater responsibility for their own dental health and to apply a personalized dental care program designed by the pedodentist. The parents will inspire their children the necessity of caring for their teeth on every day basis and they will guide them to visit the dentist at least once a year.

What is Paediatric Dentistry?

Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health and the unique needs of young people. After completing a five-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training is required to become a paediatric dentist. This specialized program of study and hands-on experience prepares paediatric dentists to meet the unique needs of your infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs. We are concerned about your child’s total health care. Good oral health is an important part of total health. Establishing us as your child’s, “Dental Home” provides us the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. We focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases, and keep current on the latest advances in dentistry for children. Pediatric dentists also carry the responsibility to refer the child to another specialist if needed (e.g. the orthodontist).

Pleasant visits to the dental office promote the establishment of trust and confidence in your child that will last a lifetime. Our goal, along with our staff, is to help all children feel good about visiting the dentist and teach them how to care for their teeth. From our special office design, to our communication style, our main concern is what is best for your child.

The importance of Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth)

  1. Maintain good nutrition by permitting your child to chew properly.
  2. A tooth with an abscess can cause pain, swelling and even fever to the child. Children with teeth abscesses are often underweight.
  3. Are involved in speech development.
  4. Promote the proper development of the jaws.
  5. Help the permanent teeth by saving space for them.
  6. A healthy smile can help children feel good about the way they look to others.

Recalls

How often should a child see the dentist?

Both the European and the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene. Your paediatric dentist will let you know the best appointment schedule for your child.

Why visit the dentist twice a year when my child has never had a cavity?

Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve your child’s brushing and flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums.

Tooth decay isn’t the only reason for a dental visit. Your pediatric dentist provides an ongoing assessment of changes in your child’s oral health. For example, your child may need additional fluoride, dietary changes, or sealants for ideal dental health. The paediatric dentist may identify orthodontic problems and suggest treatment to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.

What are sealants?

Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult – sometimes impossible -to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices, placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants “seal out” food and plaque thus, reducing the risk of decay.

How long do sealants last?

Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. So, your child will be protected throughout the most cavity-prone years. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects, sealants will last longer. Your paediatric dentist will check the sealants during routine dental visits and can recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.

What about the broken deciduous or permanent teeth?

There is often misguidance about that matter. People tend to believe that the restoration of a broken tooth can be postponed. Others consider that the only option to restore these teeth is a veneer crown. The truth is that it is crucial to restore the tooth as soon as possible with composite. Any delay may cause adverse effects such as pulp necrosis or failure of the root to develop properly.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child (and the glass with the tooth of course) immediately to the pediatric dentist.

How can I help my child enjoy good dental health?

Beware of frequent snacking
Brush effectively twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Supervise under-sevens with tooth brushing
Floss once a day (especially the adolescents)
Have sealants applied when appropriate
Seek regular dental check-ups
Assure proper fluoride applications take place either professionally or through fluoride products or fluoride supplements
Juice or fizzy drinks should be given ideally with meals or snacks; use a straw to drink.
Health security in our practice
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Radiographs (X-rays)

Radiographs are taken only when necessary and not routinely. The minimum exposure to radiation is ensured as many different factors are regulated properly. A lead apron is always used to provide maximum safety to the patient. In addition, the whole radiological equipment has been checked and approved by an accredited radiation physicist, in order to ensure the staff’s and patients’ protection.

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Rubber damς

The little “umbrella” in the mouth of the patient is actually maximizing the speed, the comfort and the safety of the child. The rubber dam is a basic aid in order to provide high quality treatment without the danger of swallowing a small instrument.

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Disinfection – Sterilization

All disposable materials are off course discarded after use.

The rest instruments are washed carefully with plenty of water and a disinfectant soap. Then, they are brushed with a metal brush. Afterwards they are placed in a container with a disinfectant liquid where they stay for 1-2 hours.

Then, they are immersed in the supersonic bath to remove all traces of any pollutants.

Finally, the instruments are dried and sealed in sterilization bags. The bags are then placed in a state of the art vacuum autocaust where they are sterilized again.

This autocaust is also used to sterilize handpieces, special plastic instruments etc.

Hygiene regulations and rules

A strict protocol of hygiene is in place in our dental office. Cleaning and sterilization of all instruments and surfaces is of paramount importance:

  1. All instruments are thoroughly cleaned, then embaptized in a special disinfecting solution for 30 minutes until all bacteria are wiped out.
  2. The sterilization is undertaken in an autoclave of the last generation according to the E.U. regulations.
  3. The instruments are then safely stored in sealed envelopes.
  4. Most of the materials used are disposable and are thrown away after each patient.
  5. The staff uses safety equipment such as professional gowns, protective glasses (for both the dentist and the patient). A medical mask, and gloves (often more than one pair per patient).
  6. The surfaces and the large pieces of equipment are cleaned meticulously with a special bactericidal spray.
  7. The drainage pipes are also being disinfected.
  8. Dangerous and harmful for the environment materials are safely deposited.
Emergencies

Apply the basic rules for emergencies such as injuries, fractures, pain and edema (swelling) in a tooth or in person.

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KNOWLEDGE TEST (QUIZ) FOR ADULTS & PARENTS!

Test your skills with oral hygiene! Do the quiz with the 20 questions!