Children should be taken to the dentist as soon as their first milk tooth appears, and definitely before their first birthday. When choosing a dentist for your child, it can be tempting to take them to the same dentist that you have been going to for years. You’re already comfortable with them – so why take your child to see someone else?
This is a great question. So, let’s explore the benefits of a specialist dentist for children and how they can set your child up for a lifetime of excellent dental health.
A specialist dentist for children is known as a paediatric dentist. Paediatric dentists have acquired specific experience, training and qualifications to deal with children’s teeth, gums and mouths throughout their development from childhood to adolescence. A specialist children’s dentist has a further understanding of growing teeth, their unique complexities, and will be able to spot potential problems and treat them.
At Ringley Park, we are lucky to have our very own Specialist Paediatric Dentist, Maalini Patel, who has an extensive knowledge of children’s dentistry and how to make children feel at ease. Maalini is a registered Specialist in Paediatric Dentistry with the General Dental Council and was awarded Fellowship in Paediatric Dentistry by the Royal College of Surgeons in 2020.
In addition to this, many of our Reigate dental team have received additional training to help all children, including those with special challenges, feel comfortable visiting the dentist.
It is exceptionally hard for children to access much-needed specialist dental care at the moment, and we are one of a very small number of practices in the area able to offer this specialist service outside a hospital setting.
They know how to put children at ease
As adults who may once have felt nervous about visiting the dentist ourselves, we know just how common it is for a child to be frightened of going to the dentist. General dentist practices can often be under-resourced when it comes to helping children overcome their anxiety, which can only make the problem worse. A huge benefit of visiting a dentist that specialises in caring for children is that they are experts in helping nervous children feel happier in the dental chair. This provides them with the best possible start to their oral health, eradicating their fears and creating positive associations that will last a lifetime.
Our Reigate dental practice provides a gentle caring environment, and the team employs a variety of techniques that have been proven to help nervous children and patients with special needs to feel relaxed during their visit. We also provide inhalation sedation (happy air) which is a safe way to reduce anxiety in young and nervous children.
The surgery is designed with children in mind
Grown-up dental practices can be quite a daunting place for children, which may have a negative effect if they are feeling anxious. However, a specialist dental surgery for children will have been especially designed and decorated with kids in mind.
At Ringley Park, we have a dedicated children’s dental surgery that is covered in bright colours and fun stickers. Once they arrive, there’s plenty of toys to play with, they’ll get a ride on the dental chair, and Maalini’s patients always come away with a sticker and a toy as a reward! We also offer longer appointments that give the children plenty of time to get comfortable with their surroundings.
The best start to their oral health journey
There’s no doubt that those initial visits to the dentist can be nerve-wracking, but opting to take your child to a specialist is the best way to put them at ease. By seeing a specialist you will ensure your child receives expert care. The fun environment, friendly staff and gentle dental care is sure to give your child something to smile about – and a reason to look forward to seeing their dentist again in the future!