You should pay special attention to children’s dental care because the mouth of a growing child requires constant care at home and regular check-up appointments at a dentist and a dental hygienist. Although the child’s teeth might be in good condition, visiting a dentist regularly helps prevent possible problems from developing. If the child begins his/her appointments at a highly skilled and a child-friendly dentist’s office, visiting the dentist is comfortable and no fears develop.

Typical paediatric oral health issues

Various developmental problems of occlusion are quite common among children, and they often require orthodontic treatment and visiting a specialised dentist. In addition, gingivitis and tartar are also common among children. However, extensive tissue damage in periodontal fibres is rare. Tooth and jaw injuries are in the top five of children’s accidents. In practice, children may hit their teeth so that they can fracture.

Genetic factors also influence the child’s teeth. However, the daily maintenance of good oral and dental hygiene plays a bigger part. In order to prevent problems from developing, children should be acquainted with good dental self-care and brushing their teeth twice a day at a young age. Regular dentist’s appointments are also important.

Frequently asked questions about paediatric dental care

When is it recommended to begin brushing the child’s teeth?

When the first tooth is emerging. A lot of children also enjoy having their toothless mouths brushed with a soft brush. Children can begin brushing their teeth when they are about 3 years old. Nevertheless, parents must ensure that the child’s teeth are clean.

It is important to familiarise the child with regular cleaning. The example set by the parents is the best tool because small children are particularly fond of imitating their parents and older siblings.

What is the recommended amount of toothpaste for small children?

According to the current recommendations, the teeth of small children can be cleaned with low-fluoride toothpaste once a day, and the second daily cleaning should be performed without toothpaste. Toothpaste can be used on both occasions when the child is three years old.

What if the child swallows some toothpaste?

The oral health benefits of fluoride are primarily due to its effect in the mouth. Consequently, toothpaste should not be swallowed. Small children do not know how to not swallow some of the toothpaste, which is why there are different instructions regarding the amount and fluoride content of toothpaste for different ages. When you follow these instructions, the amount of fluoride swallowed by the child is safe.

When can children brush their own teeth?

Approximately at the age of 10. Brushing teeth so that they are truly clean on every surface is a quite demanding procedure. When the child can write properly, the fine motor skills of the hand are sufficient to cleaning teeth. Nevertheless, adults should check the results regularly.

When will the milk teeth become loose?

The first milk teeth usually start moving when the child is 5–7 years old. However, it is normal if the teeth become loose later.

The milk teeth are replaced by permanent teeth after childhood. Normally, there are 20 milk teeth and 32 permanent teeth, including wisdom teeth.

How can caries or tooth decay that causes cavities in children’s teeth be prevented?

Preventing cavities in children’s teeth applies primarily the same rules as with adults – a healthy diet and good self-care are key. The older the child is when he/she starts eating sweets, the less likely he/she is to have caries. A common cause of cavities is the Mutans Streptococci bacteria, usually passed to the child from parents. The infection can be prevented by the parents by maintaining good oral hygiene. Further information about paediatric tooth decay and caries can be found here.

Are cavities in milk teeth treatable?

Tooth decay that causes dental cavities is a chronic infectious disease, and its development is affected by several factors. The most significant factors are diet (quality and frequency), brushing teeth and fluoride intake. Damages caused to the teeth can be repaired regardless of the child’s age. The treatment method is selected according to the severity of the damage (filling, pulp treatment or tooth extraction). Small children can be treated comfortably under general anesthesia.

What to do when the child requires large-scale or demanding dental care?

Sometimes conventional dental care is not suitable or the care is too extensive regarding the patient’s age. One option is to perform dental care under general anesthesia. At Oral, we create a treatment plan based on a thorough examination of the teeth and jaw, where the special requirements set by a growing and developing environment are taken into account. If necessary, we cooperate with dentists specialised in orthodontics.

Paediatric dental care specialists at Oral

There are less than fifteen paediatric dental care specialists in Finland – and already three of them work at Oral. They have the special expertise required in solving paediatric dental care problems beginning with infancy.

Oral’s specialised dentists of paediatric dental care Heikki Alapulli, My Blomqvist and Krista Brander-Aalto have extensive practical experience of paediatric dental care. In addition to them, children’s teeth are treated at Oral by dentist specialising in paediatric dental care Elisa Ronkainen and several other skilful and child-friendly dentists and dental hygienists around Finland.

Paediatric dental care is available at every Oral office and children’s dental examination is always performed by a dentist. A paediatric office specifically for children is located at the Oral Erottaja office.

At Oral, we have the expertise ranging from preventive treatment to demanding repairing dental care, including treatment for children’s dental injuries and developmental tooth disorders. Regarding repairing dental care for milk teeth, Oral also performs crowning and pulpotomy (root canal therapy for milk teeth) using modern techniques.

Our goal at Oral is to let children grow up with as healthy teeth as possible and without any fear of dental care.