Your child has a tooth decay, he broke a tooth or it is simply his annual check: no way to escape the visit to the dentist! The advice of our specialist, Dr. Alain Amzalag, dentist.
It's a control visit
- Since he was 3 years old, you take your child to the dentist once a year to check that everything is fine. Excellent reflex! This prevention is essential: if a child avoids the cavities on his provisional teeth, he will be less likely to have some on his permanent teeth. Your big one already has his final molar or "6 year old tooth"? It will be an opportunity to apply a fluoride varnish on its furrows to prevent bacteria from attacking the tooth.
- What has to be done. Avoid giving too much detail to your child about the course of this visit, you may worry. Explain that the dentist will look at his teeth, count them and show him how to brush them well. Simple and reassuring!
He has a decay
- Do not panic: the treatment of a milk tooth is much less painful than that of a definitive tooth. Dental tissue is less innervated and therefore less sensitive. And if need be, the dentist will do a little anesthesia to your child by putting a balm on the gum. Trust him: he will take the time to explain the use of his instruments before starting treatment.
- What has to be done. If the dentist asks you to stay in the waiting room, do not take it badly. Your child is more alone with the specialist: he feels treated like a "big guy".
He broke a tooth
- Fortunately, it is only a milk tooth: before long, the definitive tooth will replace the damaged tooth (or expelled by shock). Patience…
- What has to be done. Appointment anyway quickly to the dentist. He can check using a radio that the germ of the definitive tooth has not been damaged. In case of infection (a small abscess in the gums) or pain (if the nerve has been touched), it can treat the tooth or remove it, but it is quite rare.
Isabelle Gravillon with Dr. Alain Amzalag, dentist, coauthor of Beautiful teeth: our teeth from 0 to 18 years, ed. Threshold.
Operation M't Teeth, enjoy!
To learn the right gestures to children and detect the first caries, the Health Insurance and dentists created in 2007 the operation M'T Teeth, prevention appointments offered for children 6 years, 9, 12, 15 and 18 years old.
6 years old: the age of the first molar
- At this age, your child sees his first permanent molar grow, the tooth most exposed to cavities. It is also the moment when the baby teeth finish pushing to leave places for the definitive teeth, they are thus weakened and more exposed, too, to the cavities.
- The dentist will take the opportunity to see if your child brushes his teeth properly: 3 times a day, for 3 minutes without forgetting to change his toothbrush every 3 months! He will also take the opportunity to examine the gums and talk to him about fluoride.
3 key moments
- 6 years old: this is the age of the first permanent molars. Still fragile, they are the preferred target of cavities.
- 9 years old: the milk teeth and the definitive coexist, which makes the brushing more difficult: it is therefore the door open to cavities.
- 12 years old: the definitive teeth are put in place, but they are still fragile.
How to make an appointment?
- You have nothing to do. One month before your child's birthday, you will receive at home a personalized letter from the Health Insurance with a printout, inviting him to visit the dentist. You have six months to get there and it's free!
- The cost of the exam, and the consequent care, are taken care of directly by the Health Insurance without advance of expenses on your part.