Services for Children
Our aim at Gargrave Road Dental Practice is to move children into adulthood with no fillings and a healthy mouth. It is primarily through education and preventative care that we achieve this. Parents and children need to be shown and encouraged to make the right choices in order to maintain the health of their own mouth.
When to start?
We like children to begin attending as young as possible, even before teeth are present.
This is for two reasons:
- By speaking to the parent, we can encourage good dietary habits that will set up the right patterns to ensure the teeth, when they appear, are in a safe healthy environment.
- Getting the child used to having the dentist examine their mouth from an early age helps prevent the ‘fear of the unknown’ that can be unhelpful if children only attend later on.
We do, of course, welcome children of any age to the Practice. Our gentle, careful approach can quickly calm children who may have been put off dental care elsewhere.
If other immediate family members are patients of the Practice, we will usually see children younger than two free of charge.
For very young children, we try and make their visits to the dentist a fun and interesting experience; rides on the chair, counting the teeth, visits to Yvonne for tooth brush instruction, diet advice and lots of stickers! During the visits though, we will be trying to pass on why it is important to brush the teeth, we’ll be encouraging parents to help and show them what signs to be looking out for and, of course, reinforcing the message of why good dietary habits are vital for healthy teeth.
Any early problems can be pointed out during these visits. By using fluoride or sealants these areas can often be prevented from turning into fillings.
As baby teeth begin to be lost and adult teeth come into place, we keep a close eye on the development. Putting resin sealants on the adult back teeth and fluoride gels at each visit will help to strengthen and protect these important teeth in their crucial early years. Tooth brush instruction will also continue.
Should the teeth look crowded or the bite not look ideal, then children will be referred as appropriate to a nearby specialist orthodontist. This referral will be back into the NHS system which still provides good orthodontic care.
As children move into their later teenage years the care package becomes similar to the adult package. We will assess wisdom teeth, continue with preventative measures and introduce visits to the hygienist as necessary. With impending moves to the independence that University or living away from home will bring the importance of continuing good dietary habits and good self-care will be reinforced.
It may well be at this time that parents are reassured by the dental injury insurance that is part of the care package, as sports like rugby, football, hockey and cricket become much more serious! Mouth guards are recommended and custom made ones can be provided for just the cost of manufacture.
Despite all the education and prevention, children have a will of their own, and occasionally treatment may become necessary. All treatments for children will be undertaken with ‘minimally invasive’ techniques. This makes extensive use of tooth-coloured filling materials and often the newer ‘biocompatible’ filling materials. A small amount of restorative treatment is allowable on the care package. Usually, with reasonable self-care and control, no child will ever need more treatment than is available on the package.
Any extractions needed as part of orthodontic treatment are covered within the package.
Paying for Your Child’s Dentistry
Whilst fees are payable for a child’s initial check-up, and for any treatment necessary at the start, once ‘dentally fit’ all children will be signed onto the Denplan for Children care package. The fees for this are based on the child’s age. Once accepted, all the routine care and prevention are covered by an affordable monthly payment. The details of the fee levels can be seen on the fees page, or by requesting a fee guide at the surgery.