The key to lifelong dental health
is to start young.
We provide advanced dental care, while ensuring a positive, enjoyable and educational experience for your child.
It’s never too early to begin a life of positive dental care and it can be a challenging task to find a reputable children’s dentist. Also, children can be understandably apprehensive because the whole experience can seem very daunting. However, it is generally encouraged for adults to take children to visit the dentist before their first birthday. With numerous benefits to be had.
Not to worry, our friendly team here at Shields Dental Clinics in Limerick, Castletroy and Roscrea take the stress out of it all.
Benefits of taking your child to a children’s dentist.
- It helps to prevent the early onset of tooth decay
- A child will get used to seeing their dentist from an early age when they see them regularly. This then reduces the likelihood of future dental anxiety. Many adults are nervous of the dentist and this is often due to a negative childhood experience. Thus, it can harm long term dental health to avoid the dentist in adult life.
- Seeing a dentist at a young age can prevent Dental Fluorosis. This is a common condition caused by over exposure to fluoride in young children. The main consequence can be lifelong tooth staining. We are happy to give parental advice on this topic, specifically on what type of toothpaste, how often and how much to use each time.
- We give advice on brushing technique which is dependent on the child’s age. We always advise parents to help children brush their teeth until they are approximately six years of age. Also, the correct technique differs with the age of the child.
What are sealants?
Sealants are a safe, painless way to protect children’s teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective plastic coating applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. This prevents food and bacteria getting into the teeth’s tiny grooves, causing decay.
Do you do children's braces?
Yes, we do! You can read more about our Children’s Ortodontist here.
Which teeth should be sealed?
Sealants are applied to the back teeth—molars and premolars—which have pits and fissures on their biting surfaces. Some teeth naturally form with deep grooves, which need to be sealed. Those with shallow grooves which will not required sealing.
What is involved?
How long do sealants last?
Sealants can last for years but should be checked regularly as they can wear over time. Your dentist may need to add or replace the sealant to prevent the onset of decay.
When should sealants be applied?
Sealants are applied as soon as the permanent teeth start to come through, usually from 6 to 7 years of age. The rest are sealed as soon as they appear. This usually happens from 11 to 14 years of age.
Do my children still have to clean their teeth?
What is the right way for my child to brush their teeth?
One of the best tips for teaching your children how to brush their teeth is to lead by example. Bring your child with you to the bathroom when you brush your teeth and talk it through with them.
Also, brush in front of a mirror because children are visual learners and will learn to replicate your actions while watching themselves in the mirror.
Don’t use threats because they create a negative association with brushing and they also begin to associate the dentist with punishment.
Use a visual timer as it can help kids understand the time frame that they have for brushing.
Finally, visit a dentist regularly and ensure that it treated as a positive, normal experience.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in water and other natural sources. Fluoride can also be artificially added to drinking water, with amounts varying from area to area. Check with your local authority to check whether your local water supply is fluoridated. Many toothpastes now contain fluoride and this is how most people get their fluoride. There are also fluoride supplements in the form of specially formulated gels, drops, tablets and mouthwashes. These are recommended for people who require added protection against decay.
What are the benefits of fluoride?
Over five decades of research has found that water fluoridation cuts dental decay by up to 60%. It does this by strengthening the tooth enamel. A level of one-part fluoride to 1m parts water (1ppm) is considered enough.
Are fluoride toothpastes enough?
Should children have extra fluoride?
If the level in the water supply is low, it may be necessary for children to take extra fluoride in the form of a supplement. But these should be taken only on the advice and instruction of a dentist.
Are there side effects from fluoride ingestion?
Campaigners against fluoridation claim that an overdose of fluoride can cause ‘brittle bone’ disease and digestive disorders. However, these suggestions have not been scientifically proven. Dental Fluorosis can occur when too much fluoride is taken. For example, if the water supply is already fluoridated and supplements are taken, dental fluorosis can result. It can also occur when children swallow toothpaste.
Fluorisis is caused when too much fluoride is absorbed while the enamel of the teeth is forming. In its mildest form, fluorosis appears as fine, pearly-white lines or flecking on the surface of the teeth, often discernible only to a dental expert. While severe fluorosis can lead to pitting of the enamel and discolouration, this is rare in this part of the world.
Is fluoride safe?
Many reports have been published about the pros and cons of fluoride. After many years, the scientific conclusion is that fluoride is of great benefit to dental health. It helps to prevent decay, while causing no harmful side effects to general health.
From the regular check-up to the specialist and advanced treatments that are needed throughout life, we always use state-of-the-art equipment and latest recommended techniques.
Find out what makes us different.
You don’t have to go to Beverly Hills to look good, you can go local. In convenient locations in Limerick, Castletroy, Roscrea and Blackrock Dublin. Comfortable but advanced, friendly but professional. Click on your preferred location in the menu or use the arrows to discover more.
smile you have
Use our FREE consultation service to speak to one of our Treatment Coordinators, who give you information about how we can help, without any financial commitment.
Most importantly it helps to build your confidence in starting your journey with Shields to the smile you have always wanted.
We’ll discuss with you what you would like to achieve with your dental health and the appearance of your smile, answer any questions and listen to any problems you may have had with your teeth in the past.