How do you find a dentist who’s good at handling babies and kids?
While some general dentists are comfortable with seeing kids, others are less so. This is because they need to manage children’s temperament and behaviour, so they can provide a pleasant dental experience, says Dr Catherine Hong, a senior consultant from the orthodontics and paediatrics dentistry department at National University Hospital.
In addition, the dentist should be familiar with the appropriate treatments for baby and immature permanent teeth.
Paediatric dentists on the specialist register in Singapore would have completed a formal three-year training stint after dental school and are deemed to be proficient in all areas of dentistry for children up to 18 years of age.
Here’s a website that lists paediatric dentists in Singapore: Society for Paediatric Dentistry Singapore
This useful directory includes general and paediatric dentists: Singapore Dental Council
Remember: dental decay can occur as soon as your baby has her first tooth. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child should see a dentist by 12 months of age.
This proactive approach allows her to assess your kid’s tooth cleanliness and spot signs of cavities.
During this visit, the dentist will also ask you about her current oral care practices (for instance, the frequency and technique of tooth brushing, type of toothpaste) and dietary habits (choice of snacks, frequency of meals). She can then recommend how you can continue to keep the baby teeth healthy, Dr Hong adds.
If early decay is already present, she can give advice on how to slow down and/or halt the process, so your child can avoid fillings and other such treatments.