From the age of 2 we routinely paint on a fluoride varnish on children’s teeth at every dental examination every 6 months, and sometimes more frequently if we detect a higher than normal chance of decay.
At about six years old the first adult molar comes through. If there has been decay in the milk teeth, we can place a plastic coating on the most vulnerable parts of these teeth. This coating (or fissure sealant as it is called) seals the tooth surface and helps to prevent decay.
From the age of 10 years we are able to prescribe a higher concentration of fluoride toothpaste if we find a high rate of decay.
If there is decay in milk teeth a metal cap can be fitted easily to seal it up. This has been found to be often a better measure than traditional fillings and has been shown to be more successful in keeping milk teeth in until they fall out naturally. With regular and frequent examinations (at least every 6 months) we can spot decay at an early stage in adult teeth and restore them with less drilling.
You can see that the bad-old-days of injections and fillings for children has been consigned to history.
At King Street Dental Practice, we are involved in the Childsmile programme. Childsmile is a Scottish NHS programme designed to improve the oral health of children in Scotland and reduce inequalities both in dental health and access to dental services. Click here for more information.