Taking your child to visit a paediatric dentist

Written by: Dr Jay Padayachy
Edited by: Laura Burgess

A paediatric dentist specialises in childhood dental health and care. Such a dentist will offer a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth. We’ve asked Dr Jay Padayachy to explain how paediatric dentists differ from general dentists and the commonest reasons your child may need a trip to the dental chair.

What sets paediatric dentists apart from general dentists? (Skills, qualifications, training, etc.?)

Paediatric dentists have often undertaken further postgraduate training for an extra two or three years to become specialists in their chosen field and will often limit their practice to only seeing patients under the age of 18.

Paediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable as children may not always be patient and cooperative during dental treatment. In addition, paediatric dentists often use specially designed equipment in dental practices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind.

What are the most common reasons children need to see a dentist?

Children should see a dentist on a regular basis, ideally every six months. The reasons may include:

  • A routine examination to check the teeth, gums and mouth so that any problems are found quickly.
  • Preventative dental care, including cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and diet recommendations. This can often be carried out by a hygienist.
  • To check tooth development and the position of the teeth to see when the appropriate time would be to have orthodontic braces if required.
  • Sadly, some children do develop tooth decay, which then means fillings need to be carried out or, in more extreme circumstances, extracted.
  • Care for dental injuries, e.g. fractured, displaced or knocked-out teeth.

What is your approach to paediatric appointments in your practice?

We see children from age one onwards as this helps them get used to the sights and sounds of a dental practice. From about the age of seven, they will also see the hygienist. Our abiding principle is to make each visit to our practice a fun, learning experience. If necessary, we do refer to a specialist children’s practice for anxious patients and we also have an in-house orthodontist.

Children are seen as private patients and there is no charge for check-ups until the age of six as long as a parent or older child is a regular attendee at the practice. We also have our own dental plan for children up to the age of 18 which, for a small monthly fee, covers any treatment they may need (exams, seeing the hygienist, fissure sealants, fillings but excluding orthodontics), and only laboratory fees are charged for gumshields or crowns.

What are the important things when working with children?

The importance of a positive and enjoyable dental experience from the first appointment is the key to reducing dental fear later in life. Positive reinforcement is much better than being negative e.g. avoid saying “this won’t hurt” or “I hate going to the dentist”. Listen to what the child has to say and be truthful with them. This all helps build up a rapport. The dental appointment is for the child and not the parent. Parents are facilitators and helpers, but it is the child who is sitting in the chair.


Do not hesitate to book an appointment for either you or your child with Dr Padayachy now. 

Dr Jay Padayachy

By Dr Jay Padayachy

Dr Jay Padayachy is a highly experienced dentist, who has been working at the award-winning Senova Dental Studios since 1998. He focuses on comprehensive restorative and cosmetic dentistry

He graduated from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1989 and worked in High Wycombe for 10 years, before joining Senova Dental Studios. He was elected a fellow of the International College of Dentists in June 2013 (one of only 85 in the UK) in recognition of his outstanding services rendered in the art and science of dentistry. He has also been honoured with a gold medal at one of the world's most prestigious dental competitions at the 12th Annual American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Conference. His award was won for his indirect restoration work, including his work on crowns, veneers and inlays. 

He has been the president of The London Dental Fellowship and has been past a member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and has served on the credentialing committee.

Dr Padayachy has lectured widely on all aspects of cosmetic dentistry, dental photography and comprehensive care and has undergone much dental research. Some of his publications can be found on ResearchGate. He thoroughly enjoys seeing the changes he makes to the lives of his patients, giving them more confidence and a smile that they can enjoy. 

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