Been wondering when you need to take your little one for their first dental check up? Worried about how they'll behave in the chair and if it's going to hurt? Read on for our guide to the best kids' dentists in Singapore.
Say the words ‘dentist visit’ to some people and they’ll break into a cold sweat (me included). Chances are, at some point in their life they’ve had an unpleasant or painful experience while in the dental chair. So, it’s only natural that we want to ensure our kids enjoy going to the dentist and practise good oral hygiene. So, we’ve not only found the very best kid’s dentists in Singapore, we’ve also put together answers to some of the most common questions that parents ask about taking kids to the dentist, like when you should bring the kids to the dentist, or how to keep them calm. Read on for all the answers!
The best kids’ dentists in Singapore
1. Atria-City Dental Group
This family-friendly dental group was established in 1994, so you best believe it knows its dentistry stuff! Atria-City’s Dental Care team is extensively trained in procedures unique to young children and teens. It aims to provide a warm and caring environment for the kids through toys, books, and videos. Children also get booster cushions so they can be comfortable during their treatments. With state of the art facilities and highly qualified specialists, you can be sure that your kids dental care will be top-notch here.
Atria-City Dental Group, Ngee Ann City (Tower B), 391B Orchard Road #08-08, Singapore 238874
2. Azure Dental
At Azure, kids need not worry about their dental visits. With child-friendly facilities and a wonderfully friendly team headed by founder Dr Prashanth Kanakamedala, you can be sure that everything will be taken care of. And parents, how about a cup of its famous coffee while wait for your little one? Yes please! Its prices are wallet-friendly too, if you’re looking for an affordable dentist in Singapore.
Azure Dental, 781 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269759
3. Gentle Dental Group
One thing that Gentle Dental does best is kids dentistry, supported by an excellent team of friendly dentists and gentle nurses. Upon entering the cosy and comforting clinics, kids can relax by playing with toys and children’s books in the waiting area. Cartoons on overhead TVs will also distract them as they receive treatment. Plus, the dental group has their own dental superhero mascot, Captain Gentle! It’s no surprise then that Gentle Dental comes highly recommended by both locals and expats.
Gentle Dental Group, clinics in Bukit Timah, River Valley, and Tanjong Katong.
4. The Kids Dentist
According to its founder Dr Rashid Tahir, The Kids Dentist’s motto is “fun dentistry for kids”. And we totes agree! Video games, toys, even a foosball table and a playhouse… it’s as much an indoor playground as it is a top kids dental clinic! Operating with the largest paediatric dental team in Singapore, this dental group looks after infants and adolescents, as well as children with special needs and complex medical conditions.
The Kids Dentist, Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard #13-06, Singapore 248649
5. Nuffield Dental
Founded by Dr Samintharaj Kumar in 2014, Nuffield Dental brands itself as a “one-stop, multi-disciplinary centre”. And we’re beyond impressed at what it offers! Nuffield’s dentistry services cover a wide range, from the general to the cosmetic. And no matter what time a dental emergency might strike, you can simply give Nuffield a call to seek immediate help. Easy peasy. Psst – we’re also told that its Serangoon Gardens clinic has a designated play zone for kids! Family fun after a dentist visit, why not!
Nuffield Dental, various locations island-wide.
6. Sunshine Dental
For families living in the north of Singapore, Sunshine Dental is definitely the place to go for your kid’s dentistry needs. Founder Dr Jon Paul Seah decided to set up this dental clinic in Woodlands, utilising the latest technology to assist in its patients’ dental needs. New patients receive a comprehensive oral examination and diagnosis at only $30… now that’s a value for money dental check-up! The clinic also boasts a playroom, among other things, providing a safe space for the kids to relax and calm their nerves.
Sunshine Dental, Woodlands Civic Centre, 900 South Woodlands Drive #03-04, Singapore 730900
7. T32 Dental
T32 knows that dental visits can be daunting affairs for kids, which is why its dental centre in Camden features facilities such as specially designed treatment rooms with murals of Disney characters for boys and girls. There are also ceiling TV monitors so the little ones can watch cartoons while the dentist checks on their teeth. How cool is that?!
T32 Dental, various locations island-wide.
Everything you need to know about kids’ dental hygiene
When should good oral hygiene start for my child?
Good oral hygiene begins at birth! You can gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth or gauze and then as soon as they sprout their first tooth, use a baby toothbrush and water to clean their teeth. It’s ideal to begin this practice early as it gets children used to having their teeth brushed and makes it a part of their daily routine.
Do I need to pick a particular toothbrush for kids?
Find the toothbrush that is the right size for your child’s mouth. It should be soft-bristled and easy to grip. You may want to consider buying an eco-friendly toothbrush. Psst, did you know that in the US alone, over one billion toothbrushes end up in landfill every year? And because they’re made of polypropylene plastic and nylon, they don’t ever break down.
When do children need to start using toothpaste?
According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, up until two years of age, kids don’t need to use toothpaste. All you need to do is simply brush their teeth using a baby toothbrush and water. After two years, you can use a rice grain-sized smear of fluoride-containing toothpaste twice a day. Try to avoid them swallowing the toothpaste too (easier said than done, we know!). After three years old, kids can use a pea-sized smear of fluoride-containing toothpaste. It’s the fluoride in toothpaste that helps prevent and can even reverse tooth decay.
Is one toothpaste better than another, or are they all the same?
Up until five years of age, your child can use a kids’ toothpaste with a fluoride concentration of 500-550 parts per million. From six years of age, they can move on to a toothpaste with a fluoride concentration of 1000-1500 parts per million. Have a look at the back of the toothpaste packaging to check how much fluoride the toothpaste contains. It may be listed in the ingredients as ‘Sodium Fluoride’ with the parts per million (or PPM) in brackets.
Do children need to floss?
Yes! Your dentist will be able to show you the correct flossing technique (not the dance, the actual tooth floss… although we’d love to see our dentist do the floss).
When do I need to take my child for their first visit to the dentist?
It is recommended that children visit the dentist every six months from the age of one, or whenever they get their first tooth (whichever comes first). Whilst it may sound early (what can possibly be wrong with those adorable little pearly whites at one year old?), the idea is that you can identify any possible issues early and therefore treat the problem more easily.
How do I choose a good dentist for my child?
Paediatric dentists specialise in dentistry for children. They are generally well trained in dealing with kids and can identify any potential issues quite quickly (it’s amazing what they can see during a quick peek inside a toddler’s mouth!). But it’s not essential that your child sees a paediatric dentist. You may have a great relationship with your own dentist and prefer to take your kids to see them instead. It’s totally up to you and the most important thing is that your kids are comfortable with their dentist.
How frequently do kids need to see the dentist?
Aim for a visit to the dentist every six months once your child turns one or when they sprout the first tooth… whichever comes first. The objective is to establish good oral hygiene practices, nip any potential issues in the bud and ensure the kids develop a happy relationship with their dentist.
Is there anything I can do at home to prepare my child for a dentist visit?
– Talk it through
Like with any new experience, it’s best to talk to your kids about their visit to the dentist before you go. Tell them about how nice it is to see a dentist and how they help to keep teeth shiny and sparkly. Let them know that dentists are extra friendly and that they may even be able to watch a movie while they get their teeth looked at your teeth, or get a sticker or new toothbrush as a prize afterwards
– Avoid prime tantrum times
When scheduling an appointment, take into consideration when your child is best rested. The best time to go? Either first thing in the morning, or after their afternoon nap. Definitely avoid booking appointments at times when you know they may be overtired. That certainly won’t be fun for anyone!
– Be a brave parent
Try not to project your own fears about dentists onto the kids. As we all know, children are incredibly perceptive and may pick up on your negative dental vibes… which will make future dentist visits tougher on you!
– Consider a paediatric dentist
If you’re sensing that your child may be anxious about a dental visit, if your child has special needs or may be extra sensitive to a dentist near their mouth, we suggest visiting a paediatric dentist who is specially trained in working with children.
– Make it fun with a book or video
You could also consider showing the kids a video, book or song about visiting the dentist if you want to prepare them further. We love The Wiggles’ ‘Brush Your Teeth‘ song, the super catchy Play School classic ‘Ch Ch Ch (The Toothbrush Song)‘, The Tooth Book by Dr Seuss or even Peppa Pig’s ‘The Dentist‘ episode.
– Tag along with friends
You could also consider asking a friend with a child who loves dentist visits if your child could tag along to their next visit to watch. Kids take a lot of social cues from their peers.
– Keep up a good routine
And of course, try to have a good brushing routine established before you head to the dentist – the kids should be brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
What happens if my child damages a tooth or it starts to change colour?
It’s not uncommon for kids to knock their teeth, especially as toddlers. If your child falls and damages a tooth (their gums may bleed or they might complain of pain) it’s important to see a dentist, as the dentist may be able to take preventative measures to avoid further damage. Your child’s tooth may begin to turn grey a few days after the fall – this is also not uncommon. So don’t worry, just schedule a dentist visit and they’ll be able to give you further guidance.
Is it an issue if my child grinds their teeth?
Ever walked into your child’s room when they’re asleep to hear them grinding their teeth? Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is not uncommon in kids. There are several different causes, like misalignment of teeth, pain, hyperactivity and stress. In most cases, children grow out of bruxism, but it’s something to mention at your next dentist visit (although they’ll probably be able to see evidence of teeth grinding before you mention it). The dentist may advise you to try some relaxation exercises before bed or for more severe grinding, they could suggest a mouthguard.
What can I do for my kids to maintain healthy teeth?
Keep yourself informed about what foods commonly lead to cavities. Stick to healthy whole foods, when possible, avoid sugar-dense foods and acidic drinks like soda and juices. Encourage the children to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Singapore’s water supply contains fluoride (about 0.6mg per litre of water) and is safe to drink too.
You can also talk to your dentist about the impact of dummy or thumb sucking to ensure the development of your kids’ teeth isn’t being impacted. They’ll also be able to give you some great tips on how to best stop these habits.
And finally, lead by example and brush your teeth with your kids twice a day as soon as they sprout their first tooth!
We hope these tips help!