Youth, Dentistry, & the Next Generation
Teaching the Youth to Care for their Teeth
It’s strange that a significant proportion of the population avoids the dentist because they fear pain, but only attend when they are in pain. This school of thought needs to be displaced within our youth so that they are aware and are able to take care of their teeth.
Dental anxiety or phobia is often the result of an unhappy dental experience in our youth. In our middle aged population of today, I often hear the stories of poor patient management when they were kids in school. But so much has changed; not only are there kinder and more considerate attitudes towards the youth and adults but also there has been a huge progression in the dental treatment techniques. Using better local anaesthetics along with the sedation for those patients who have sadly already developed dental anxiety and phobias of going to the dentist from their youth.
Nowadays, children are treated carefully, with respect and a sense of fun in the surgery. The school dental service employs very able and highly trained and skilled dentists and dental therapists and everything is aimed at making the early dental experiences happy and fun for our youth. There are also dentists who specialise in children’s dentistry; these are Paediatric dentists.
Having mentioned dental therapists, some people may not know what they are so let me explain. These are highly trained dental professionals who have undergone considerable clinical and academic training to enable them to provide dental fillings and all the various aspects of preventive dental health care for young people under the age of 18 years. Not only that, but also more recently many dental therapists are “dual qualified” and are also dental hygienists. They spend each and every working day with children and develop a very special rapport with their young patients. You can usually tell their surgeries from their dentist colleagues from the vast array of child paintings and toys that adorn the walls. They usually make their workplace a colourful and fun place to be.
So the message I want to get out to the community is that taking your children to a dental therapist or a Paediatric Dentist is one of the most positive and powerful contributions you can make to help the current generation of children grow up without any fear of the dentist. There are plenty of dental practices that employ dental therapists, so ask at your dentist and make sure you start your kids off very young, even as their baby teeth just start to come through into their mouth. The first few visits are only going to be for a ride in the dental chair, to play with a dental therapists glove blown up like a balloon, and gradually when they are comfortable in the dental chair environment, the therapist will get them to open their mouth and “count” their teeth.
It’s a stage-by-stage progression, with fun and toys and each time introducing a little more of the dental environment. It works too. This generation of children have got the opportunity of growing up without any fear of the dentist. Now that’s got to be better.
Without anxiety over a dental visit, people can attend regularly for preventive advice and care and thereby prevent having to experience extensive fillings and other forms of invasive dental treatment.
Todays emphasis should be on prevention; it must start as young as possible, andcontinue through life. The main objectives in the early years will be on providinginformation to parents on dietary matters and of course the best and most effective ways to clean the teeth. The use of fissure sealing and topical fluoride use are further tools in treating the young patient. There is so much that can now be done to help your child from the appearance of the baby teeth to the establishment of their adult teeth, that there really isno reason why the next generation have to have the extensive repair work, tooth extractions and long hours spent in the dental chair that our generation or our parents generation had to endure.
Contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812
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