Family friendly dental care
As a local community dental practice, we work hard to make families feel welcome. In fact, we get to know many of our families over generations!
We provide check-ups and treatment for all children free on the NHS. Our Oral Health team are here to advise you on how maintain a healthy mouth and keep your teeth for life. And as part of our commitment to promoting effective oral hygiene, our Oral Health Educator Kim Childs pays regular visits to local schools and attends care homes to instruct care staff on oral health for the elderly.
Babies and children
It is never too soon to start looking after your teeth and gums. We recommend you bring babies for their first visit as soon as their first tooth appears (around 6-12 months of age) and follow up with regular six-monthly check-ups. We also offer fissure sealants as permanent teeth start to emerge, to help protect them from decay.
By encouraging your children to visit the dentist from an early age, you’ll be setting them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene ̶ not to mention a healthy and attractive smile. Paying early and regular visits to the dentist also helps them to understand that it is nothing to worry about. And just think of all the tooth brushing battles you will avoid if your children learn good oral habits from an early age!
Why not co-incide your visit with one of our Children’s Days, usually scheduled during school half term. There’s fancy dress and face painting, bunting and balloons – all manner of activities designed to put your children at ease and teach them to look after their teeth. What child can say no to a goody-bag, or a check-up from Batman or Superwoman?
As children become teenagers, they sometimes need orthodontic treatment to align crooked teeth, to improve their appearance and the way the teeth bite together. At TDP we usually offer orthodontics to children once their adult teeth have erupted, approximately 11-12 years old. There are, however, a few exceptions where early treatment is undertaken to stop potential problems from developing.
Orthodontic treatment can also be very successfully carried out on adults and we see increasingly numbers of mums and dads checking in for treatment too! There is no upper age limit, if your teeth and gums are healthy.
Oral Health & Hygiene
When it comes to healthy teeth and gums, prevention is always better than cure. Which is why we put so much emphasis on Oral Health at Torrington Dental Practice.
According to the Oral Health Foundation, one in four children have dental decay by their fifth birthday. In adults, most tooth loss results from gum disease and decay and can require expensive restorative treatment. Poor oral hygiene can also have wider health implications, with links to heart disease, diabetes, dementia and cancer.
Led by our Dental Hygienists Sabina Camber and Gemma Bealey, and our Oral Health Educator Kim Durk, our oral health and hygiene team are on hand to give you and your family all the tips and advice you need to establish an effective hygiene routine.
Oral health appointments are free for all children on the NHS, but whatever your age, it’s never too late to adopt good oral health habits. Call 01805 623657 today for an appointment.Find out more about our Oral Health and Hygiene services
FAMILY DENTISTRY FAQs
Tooth decay is the leading reason for hospitals admissions among 5- to 9-year-olds according to data published by NHS Digital. Extractions can be traumatic for a child and set up a lifetime’s fear of the dentist. Bring them to visit us as soon as their first tooth appears (around six months of age) and then as often as we recommend (usually every six months). And remember, check-ups and treatment for all children are free on the NHS.
Neglecting your children’s milk teeth can store up a lifetime of problems for them. Milk teeth have thinner enamel than permanent teeth so have less protection against bacteria. Decay can cause painful abscesses and if extractions are required, your child is more likely to develop crooked or problematic permanent teeth, as milk teeth help to create the right spacing. When it comes to children’s oral health, it is never too soon to start.
Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay. Natural or added sugars in liquids and foods are changed to acid by bacteria in the mouth. This acid then dissolves the outer surface of the teeth, causing them to decay. To protect your child’s teeth, limit sugary snacks and drinks. And don’t be fooled by ‘healthy’ fruit juice which can contain as much sugar as a fizzy drink! Brush your child’s teeth twice a day and teach them how to do it themselves from an early age. Finally, making dental visits a routine part of their childhood is the best way to ensure they never have anything to fear from the dentist.
Make it a regular part of their morning and bedtime ritual from the moment their first tooth appears. Set a good example by letting them watch you brush and floss your own – and let them practice on you. Brush to their favourite music, or an egg timer, and give reward stickers for consistent effort. For more advice on the best way to brush and floss your child’s teeth, talk to our Oral Health team – appointments are free for children on the NHS.
Dental sealants, also called ‘fissure sealants’, are a preventative treatment that involves applying a protective coating to difficult to reach grooves or ‘fissures’ on the back of the teeth which are hard to keep clean, so protecting them from possible decay. Sealants are normally applied to permanent teeth as they start to emerge (usually between 6 and 7 years) and further applications can be made as other teeth begin to show. The process is quick and easy and usually only takes a couple of minutes per tooth. Talk to your TDP dentist for more information.
Children and adults should see a dentist regularly for routine check-ups even if they are not experiencing any problems with their mouth or teeth. Attending regularly helps you and your dentist to keep your mouth, teeth and gums in good health and pain-free. The clinically recommended maximum intervals are up to 24 months for adults and up to 12 months for children. Within these guidelines, we will recommend a recall interval for you based on our assessment of your child’s, and your own, current dental health.
Many children get their fear of the dentist from their parents so try not to transfer your own anxiety on to them. Bring them along to one of our regular ‘Children’s Days’ – fancy dress encouraged! They will get a check-up (from a cape-crusading dentist), tips on brushing their teeth, stickers in their own ‘dental passport’ and a goody bag to take home. Our dentists have many years of shared experience helping anxious children and teenagers to get the treatment they need. We can also offer sedation for children if required.