Obviously it's vital for children to receive the best dental care from early in life, to develop good oral health routines, and also to be comfortable with dental visits. It's also vital for parents to have information, reassurance and support so they know that their children's oral health is secure. These are the services that Granta Dental offers to families.
We recommend that children attend for a dental examination every six months from the age of two. These checkups, carried out by the dental hygienist under the direction of the dentist, include examination of the child's teeth for any cavities present, an evaluation of the child for any susceptibility to dental problems, and advice on prevention and hygiene. We can also carry out a saliva test, which helps us pinpoint some reasons why one child may have many more problems than another.
Children also need regular developmental checks to make sure that any irregularities in the growth and development of their teeth and jaws are noticed early; this makes sure that orthopaedic or orthodontic treatment can be started at a stage where it's most efficient and can produce a good, stable result. These checks are carried out by a dentist and the key ages for development checks are 2 years, 5 years, 8-9 years, 12 years and 15 years.
We do our best to make young people's visits as welcoming as possible. We aim to create good relationships between children and staff, and to establish a familiar routine so that the child is always relaxed about what is happening and so can accept treatment and listen to advice. In particular, we allow plenty of time at each appointment for the child to settle in and get comfortable with the noises, smells and surroundings in the surgery before beginning the examination.
When a child needs treatment, we have a number of approaches which make the experience easy and comfortable, in particular painless injections and no-drilling fillings.
We especially aim to prevent oral problems so that a child needs as little treatment as possible, and always give full hygiene and prevention advice at every visit so that the child can build up good habits that last a lifetime. We're very aware that susceptibility to dental problems and the ability to maintain oral health vary widely from one child to another, even within the same family and at different stages of growth and development. So we tailor our advice to the particular child and their needs.
We will always give you detailed information about your child's oral health and consult you at every stage of diagnosis and treatment. We also give you detailed advice about dental care so that you can support your child to maintain a good regime.
We try to keep after-school appointments clear for children on Monday and Thursday afternoons so that there is no need to miss school time.