Children’s Dentist

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. We’ve seen many cases of this over the years here at Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick.

Not to worry, our friendly team here at Shields Limerick take the stress out of it all. We provide advanced dental care, while ensuring a positive, enjoyable and educational experience for your child.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions of our children’s dentist at Shields Dental & Implant Clinic in Limerick.

Yes, we do! You can read more about our Children’s Ortodontist here.

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.

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.

This quick, straightforward process takes only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared and dried, before liquid sealant is applied and allowed to set. It is totally pain-free and the teeth will not feel different afterwards.

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.

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.

Yes, cleaning is vital. The smooth surface of a sealed tooth makes it much easier to keep the teeth healthy through normal toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste.

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.

You can read more about this topic here.

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.

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.

In areas where the water supply is fluoridated, fluoride toothpaste provides additional protection. But children aged under 7 years old should use a toothpaste of lower fluoride content. If your local drinking water is not fluoridated, fluoride toothpaste is effective. There are fluoride supplements available for people who are more prone to dental decay.
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.

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.

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.

Hopefully, we have addressed some of your queries above and you are now ready to take the next step. There are several ways in which you can get in touch with our children’s dentist. Firstly, we have included a convenient contact form below for you.  You can also either give us a call at 061 480 070 or make an online booking with us using the link below.