We recommend you bring your child to visit the (pediatric) dentist from the age of two. This is a fun introductory meeting in which the pediatric dentist mainly focuses on getting the child used to dental visits. From their first steps in the dental practice to climbing onto the chair, possibly lying flat on it and, in the best-case scenarios, also having a look in the mouth. All this is done at the child's own pace so that it remains a pleasant experience at all times. If necessary, some nutritional advice is given, and, if possible, an inspection is performed to determine whether any undesirable behaviour such as thumb sucking or using a pacifier should be reduced to allow proper development of the mouth, teeth, and tongue.
This visit is repeated every six months and is mostly covered up to the age of 18 years. At MOND, for example, we want to encourage children and parents to focus on prevention so that discomforting dental problems can be prevented and, if present, is detected in an early stage.
Should problems arise due to trauma to the teeth caused by, for example, tripping, or if caries are found, your child is already used to dental visits. Such issues can often be resolved smoothly with proper explanation and the required experience. This helps ensure that dental visits remain pleasant experiences and prevent future adult patients from developing dental anxiety.
Unfortunately, some children experience underdeveloped enamel on certain teeth. We call these cheese molars or molar incisor hypomineralisation if the incisors are also affected. These children often deserve extra guidance and aftercare, and we are happy to refer them to one of our pediatric dentists to set up the right treatments.
When young children consume a lot of sugar through food or drinks, this can quickly and seriously damage the milk teeth, which is when we often detect many cavities (caries). This usually develops much quicker than in adult teeth. If the decay has progressed extensively, we may need to refer the child to a dental anesthesiologist who will treat the child in hospital under total anaesthesia to get all problems under control in a single treatment. Therefore, sugar consumption should be avoided as much as possible in young children, as the consequences can lead to severe toothache, abscess formation, or traumatic experiences at the dentist.
Orthodontics and speech therapy
Problems with the alignment of the teeth and jaws can sometimes cause speech or swallowing problems at a young age. This can result from prolonged thumb sucking, using a pacifier, an immobile tongue, or a jaw problem. If the dentist identifies this in time, a referral to an orthodontist (jaw problem) or speech therapist (speech problem) may be necessary. Treating these problems early on can often prevent intensive treatments in the future.