Questions that parents frequently ask paediatric dentists about caries, etc.
You want to do the best you can for your child’s dental health. That is why you are here. Everyone in Dr. Christina Jürgensen’s team is there to support you.
The aim of our practice is to provide your child with positive experiences of visiting the dentist. To do this, we need your help: long-term successful treatment is only possible through trust-based cooperation with you as parents and us as paediatric dentists. Please take note of our recommendations for preparing your child for their dental appointment. Turn every visit to our practice into a happy experience for your child!
Thank you very much!
Your dental practice team
Dr. Christina Jürgensen
The short answer is: because your child will love it! And that is the ideal basis for excellent dental care, perfect tooth brushing and lifelong healthy teeth.
And here comes the long answer: children are very different from adults – both in general medical terms and from a dental and psychological perspective. This is why many parents see a specialist paediatric dentist as naturally as they see a general medical paediatrician.
Dr. Christina Jürgensen’s paediatric dental practice in Nuremberg treats only children. So everything here is specifically tailored to their psychological and dental requirements:
- The enchanting pictures on the walls, the colourful furniture and the large play corner make children feel at ease right away. Children are allowed to run around and play here. No-one minds if they make a lot of noise.
- The flat examination couches enable our young patients to lie down in relaxed positions. The cartoons shown on the TV screen installed on the ceiling above are fun and distracting.
- All of our dentists, assistants and hygienists are professionally qualified in paediatric dental treatment. They have also been specially trained in dealing with anxious children and children who are reluctant to be treated
- We explain and soothe the effect of all the strange new impressions with funny stories and word games, hand puppets, a magic wand and gentle hypnosis techniques.
- In terms of dental care, milk teeth need special attention. They are at a particularly high risk of caries because their enamel is thinner and their nerves take up a comparatively large space. In order to prevent the harmful bacteria that cause caries from spreading to permanent teeth or elsewhere in the body, it is important to treat carious milk teeth even though they will fall out later anyway.
- As specialist paediatric dentists we also pay particular attention to the healthy development of teeth. In this way – together with you as parents – we can effectively prevent misalignments of the teeth and jaw.
- If a treatment is too difficult or too long for a young or anxious child to cope with, we have the right equipment and experts on hand for light sedation using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or gentle anaesthesia. This is often one of the reasons why general dentists refer children to us.
Ideally, children will already be familiar with visiting the dentist for check-ups or prophylaxis before they require any dental treatment. Then there is absolutely no reason for dental anxiety. But if children already are a little scared, we paediatric dentists can dispel that fear. By focussing on the individual needs of your child we ensure that the treatment is successful. Along with perfect oral health, what we achieve by this is that your child feels comfortable at our practice, is happy to come again and even looks forward to the next visit. Visit our specialist paediatric dental practice and give your child the chance to develop a lifelong positive attitude towards going to see the dentist.
We recommend that your child starts going to the dentist as soon as they have their first little milk tooth. Caries often occurs within a child’s first three years. So start bringing your child for regular check-ups once their first tooth has broken through.
At the first check-up, we assess the child’s individual level of active caries. We offer you appropriate recommendations on oral hygiene and healthy eating (for teeth) so that you can reduce your child’s risk of caries. During your child’s check-up, we answer any questions you may have about using fluoride, bottles, pacifiers or thumb-sucking. To prevent any resulting misalignment of teeth, we can give you tips on tooth-friendly and jaw-friendly pacifiers and when to wean your child off them.
At a later stage, once the appropriate fine motor skills have developed, your child can come along to tooth brushing school and learn how to look after his or her own little teeth independently. Introducing your child to regular prophylaxis appointments early on has several valuable benefits:
- healthy teeth that do not need expensive or painful treatments
- beautiful strong teeth that your child needs to chew, talk and smile
- a relaxed and confident attitude towards visits to the dentist
The answer to that is a definitive yes! And there are several reasons for this:
- Milk teeth can get caries and cavities, too, and this can cause a nasty toothache.
- Healthy milk teeth have important jobs: chewing, talking and, of course, providing a happy and confident smile!
- It is important in terms of promoting healthy self-esteem for children to “show their teeth” to others from time to time. This is difficult if the positive impression is marred by a stained, carious milk tooth.
- Milk teeth perform an important job as placeholders until the permanent teeth have broken through. Normally, a child’s last remaining milk teeth fall out at around 12 years of age. If milk teeth are lost early (e.g. through accident or caries), neighbouring teeth can move into the gap. Then the permanent teeth do not have enough room to come through. This often results in years of extensive and costly orthodontic treatment to restore the teeth to perfect order.
- Caries often progresses much more quickly in children than it does in adults! It doesn’t take long for a little milk tooth to be completely damaged to the core. As the nerves take up a comparatively large space in the tooth, an inconspicuous little cavity is all it takes to inflame the milk tooth nerve. Without effective caries treatment your child is at risk of developing fistulas or abscesses. These can lead to an acute medical emergency: chronic inflammation resulting from milk teeth fistulas can trigger pain and fever and weaken the entire body.
- Healthy milk teeth are the prerequisite for healthy permanent teeth. If carious teeth are left untreated, the bacteria that cause caries will continue to spread – to the permanent teeth too. These start to break through from the age of about 6 years onwards.
This is why it is important to treat carious milk teeth as quickly and properly as possible, whether that is with a filling or a crown for a milk tooth. Ideally, however, it does not reach this stage: with regular prophylaxis we can effectively prevent caries in milk teeth from the outset.
The first incisors fall out at around 5–7 years of age. At approximately the same time, the first of the permanent molars come through – often initially unnoticed behind the milk teeth. These are called the “6-year molars”.
No further permanent teeth tend to appear between 8 and 10.
Then, from the age of around 10, the milk canines and the milk molars fall out. They are replaced by the permanent canines and pre-molars. An additional molar then emerges right at the ends of each row of teeth. Most children will have all their permanent teeth by around 12–13 years.
These ages are just averages! Your child may have all their permanent teeth earlier or considerably later than this. If one little tooth seems to be getting significantly out of line, this is something we will notice during regular check-ups. We will then discuss with you what – if any – measures we take to ensure the continued healthy development of the teeth.
Ideally you will do as little as possible to prepare your child for a visit to the dentist. The aim of our practice is to provide your child with positive experiences of visiting the dentist. Every visit to the paediatric dentist with the blue elephant should be nice and relaxed. In fact, it should be nothing out of the ordinary – no reason to get worked up or anxious. The best thing is not to make a big issue out of visiting the dentist at all.
When you talk about your child’s dental appointment, make sure you use positive words – otherwise you may find that things you say with the best intentions have the opposite effect:
- It’s phrases like “It doesn't hurt.” or “There’s no need to be afraid of the dentist!” that first give children the idea that there might be something painful or frightening about going to the dentist. Try to avoid these sorts of negative comments!
If you yourself are a little uneasy about going to see the dentist, it is best not to mention it. Your negative feelings could be transferred to your child. It is also a good idea to ask older siblings or other close friends and relatives not to say anything either.
- Do not promise your child any rewards before visiting the dentist. This puts your child under additional pressure. All our little heroes receive a lucky coin if they help us along with our work. They can use this coin in exchange for a little “well done!” gift from our reward vending machine.
If your child is visiting Dr. Christina Jürgensen’s paediatric dental practice for the first time, the appointment is all about getting to know one another and us offering you helpful advice. We have a look to see whether all your child’s little teeth are healthy. And we discuss what we, you and your child can do to ensure those little teeth stay that way.
The best way to support your child during treatment is to:
- Let us know about your child’s special characteristics, habits and interests in advance. Then our practice team can adapt their approach to perfectly suit your child.
- Children cannot listen to two adults speaking at the same time. Please let us lead the conversation during your child’s treatment.
- Allow your child to be the focus and answer independently. This is the only way our paediatric dentists can get to know our young patients and encourage them to work with us independently.
- Praise your child after the appointment! Mastering new situations boosts your child's confidence!