The development of teeth during childhood and adolescence involves a series of physiological processes that make treatment different from that of an adult. The pathologies and the way they are treated are similar, but not exactly the same. In addition, children have a smaller mouth opening, and greater difficulty in keeping their mouths open for long periods of time. They are also more easily distracted by any object around them.
Even more important than the clinical aspects, the real difference in the treatment of children is the psychology of the child, as fear of the new plays a very important role. A child specialist (paediatric dentist) is better able to deal with children's patients because:
- Do not display objects that may cause fear.
- They explain the treatment in simple words.
- They are patient and show a fun attitude that will keep the child from being afraid.
We all have memories from our childhood that we will never forget, both good and bad. At an early age, it is understandable that certain noises, smells and new sensations can cause fear in children.
But what if they had told you that the turbine is a shower to clean your teeth despite the noise it generates? What if we called anaesthesia sleeping water? Or that the filling is like a plasticine in the mouth to cover a hole and cure the teeth? These are just a few examples of how our brain will associate experiences in very different ways depending on how they are explained to us.
At what age is it advisable to visit a paediatric dentist?
There are many reasons why it is advisable to visit a paediatric dentist at an early age:
- The sooner they get used to visiting a dental clinic, the more they will feel like visiting a relative or friend. The clinic is set up for them with drawings, toys and prizes, which will motivate them to come back happy and content. And at Velez & Lozano We did it!
- To learn dental hygiene techniques and promote healthy eating habits. Prevention is our objective. Early detection of caries or defects in the enamel will be decisive for a healthy mouth. To this end, we should make the first visit as early as the first year of age. Subsequently, the following will be made reviews every 3, 6 or 12 months according to individual caries risk. In this way, frequent check-ups can help to detect any dental problems early. As the saying goes, "prevention is better than cure".
- If tooth decay has already occurred, a paediatric dentist will explain and show them the treatments before performing them with an easy vocabulary to reduce fear. With the TELL, SHOW AND DO technique, together with patience, understanding and empathy, we will give them the importance that their primary teeth deserve until their permanent teeth erupt.
- And if the fear is deeply rooted or has had negative experiences in children's dental practices, there is "laughing gas". This is the nitrous oxideThe volatile gas creates a feeling of well-being and relaxation, even laughter, to work more effectively, creating a good memory.
- On the other hand, we have to understand that just as there are differences between permanent and deciduous teeth, The thickness of their layers and the resorption of their roots, there are also some treatments and materials to be used that are different. And a paediatric dentist knows these materials best and above all which medicines children can take and their respective doses depending on their weight, age and allergies.
- A paediatric dentist understands the development of teeth and facial bones better than an adult dentist. This allows for early detection of malocclusions and orthopaedic treatment at an early age if the jaws are not developing correctly, avoiding much more complex treatment in adulthood.
To encourage this experience to be positive, it is important that at home we do not tell them about personal experiences that could frighten them, nor say that they are going to be pricked, nor say that you don't like going to the dentist or that you are nervous about going to the dentist. Instead, we should set an example and let them see you brushing and flossing your teeth to generate good habits, as they will want to imitate you and will not forget the advice we have given them at the dental clinic.
With all this we will ensure that our children have a healthy mouth, free of cavities, or if they do exist, that the treatment is fun. We will reinforce the importance of prevention and the detection of the causes that generated those cavities, in order to avoid new cavities. Solving dental or maxillary (facial bone) problems in a fun way will make the visit to the dental clinic a game.