Tell Show Do
We use this technique on virtually all young patients. We explain and show our young patients
what we are going to do and how we do it.
This technique is used to intercept inappropriate behaviour as it begins. The dentist alters
voice tone and volume to interject more authority.
Very young children and some special needs patients are not able to understand why they need
dental treatment. This technique is used to protect them from harming themselves. We only use
restraints when absolutely necessary and with parents’ permission.
Some children are given nitrous oxide/oxygen or what you may know as laughing gas to relax them for
their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide/oxygen is a blend of two gases, oxygen and nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide/oxygen is given through a small breathing mask which is placed over the child’s nose,
allowing them to relax, but without putting them to sleep. The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry
recognises this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental
needs. The gas is mild, easily take, then with normal breathing, it is quickly eliminated from
the body. The gas is mild, has easy uptake, and is quickly eliminated from the body with normal
breathing. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious
and keeps all natural reflexes.
IV sedation / General anaesthesia
Deep sedation (IV Sedation) and or outpatient general anesthesia is recommended for apprehensive
children, very young children and children with special needs that would not work well under conscious
sedation. They render your child completely asleep. This would be the same as if he/she was having
their tonsils removed, ear tubes or hernia repaired. Most paediatric medical literature places the
risk of a serious reaction associated with general anaesthesia in the range of 1 in 25,000 to 1 in
200,000 far better than the assumed risk of even driving a car daily. The inherent risks if this is
not chosen are multiple appointments, potential for physical restraint to complete treatment and
possible emotional and or physical injury to your child in order to complete their dental treatment.
The risks of NO treatment include tooth pain, infection, swelling, spread of new decay, damage to
their developing adult teeth and possible life threatening hospitalisation from a dental infection.
Through the modern miracle of sedation dentistry, dentists can treat anxious patients and often
accomplish dental work in one or two visits that may have required many more visits without it.
Nitrous oxide and intravenous (I.V.) sedation are the two conscious sedation techniques most commonly
used to help patients relax.
Dental Care for Infants and Children
Most pediatric dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by one
year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year for most
children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations and care. In accordance
with this recommendation, the following dental checklist for infants and toddlers has
been provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:
Birth to 6 months of age:
Clean the infant’s mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime. Consult your
child’s pediatrician regarding fluoride supplements. Regulate feeding habits
(bottle feeding and breastfeeding).
Six to 12 months of age:
During this time, the first tooth should appear. Consult the Pediatric dentist for an
examination. Brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with a small, soft-bristled
brush. As the child begins to walk, stay alert of potential dental and/or facial injuries.
Wean the child from breast or bottle by his/her first birthday.
Twelve to 24 months of age:
Follow the schedule of dental examinations and cleanings, as recommended by your child’s
pediatric dentist. Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every 6
months for children and adults.
As your child learns to rinse his/her mouth, and as most deciduous (baby) teeth have
erupted by this age, brushing with a pea-sized portion of fluoridated toothpaste
Our recare or “routine check-up” appointments are more than just a cleaning.
Every recare visit is an opportunity to effectively teach and reinforce oral health.
We are a big fan of sealants. Sealants protect the pits and grooves of teeth.
They are especially effective on the chewing surfaces of back teeth where the majority
of decay occurs in children’s teeth. Sealants are made of clear or shaded resin .
In most cases, the procedure is done in a single visit, quickly and comfortably. The
tooth is cleaned, dried and sealant material is painted on the grooves of the teeth
and cured to harden with a special light. Post treatment sensitivity is very rare.
When fluoride is used in the right amounts and on a routine basis it helps to prevent
tooth decay. It keeps the enamel strong and encourages “remineralisation” or hardening
of weakened areas that are often the beginning of cavity. Fluoride occurs naturally in
water, foods and dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, gels, varnish and
supplements. Fluoride could be a key element of an effective preventive programme.
Mouth guards can offer protection to patients with persistent grinding (bruxism) and
other habits such as jaw clenching. The “right guard” requires careful evaluation and
becomes a part of the patient’s routine check-up. Athletic mouth guards are another
common reason for mouth guards. They can prevent serious dental injuries to active kids.
With the many advances in anaesthesia, dental tools and behaviour management techniques
and medications, the days of scary, painful visits are a thing of the past. We have
the training to coach your child through and ask that you let us do the explaining of
procedures. Here is an introduction to some of the common dental treatments.
Many cavities can be filled with local anaesthesia and tooth coloured resin filling.
During the procedure, we commonly use a rubber dam to help keep your child’s airway
protected and the restoration as strong as possible. There are cases where silver or
other types of fillings are indicated.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Crowns are used in cases where a cavity has affected so much tooth structure that
filling material cannot be used to repair the tooth. We offer several types of crowns
depending on the location of the cavity. For the front teeth we have white crowns and
silver crowns with white facing. We choose which crown based on the patient’s bite and
the extent of the cavity. For the back teeth we have stainless steel crowns.
Very large cavities can result in tooth aches and nerve irritation or infection if a
cavity has affected the nerve, we will clean out the infected part of the nerve,
place an antibacterial medicine on the remaining nerve structure and finally place a
protective filling over the nerve. Once a tooth has had nerve treatment it is weakened
and must have a crown placed over it to protect it.
In the event of tooth fracture, malformed teeth, or tooth discolouration we are able to
repair teeth by using tooth coloured composite material.
Bleaching (Teeth Whitening)
Often our teenagers, especially after braces, desire whiter teeth. we offer at home bleaching
kits with custom made trays.
My child has special needs. Will I be able to bring him to the dentist?
Parents who raise children with special needs or complex medical conditions never take for granted the daily joys and challenges it brings.
Likewise paediatric dental specialists like Dr Terry Teo find their true calling and passion in the dental care of such unique children. Paediatric dentists such as Dr Teo specifically undergo additional medical training to handle the multitude of conditions that may affect children, in order to completely manage the link between your child's oral health and quality of life.
Dr Teo attends to children with:
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy
Blood Dyscrasias (i.e. Haemophilia)
Cardiac conditions (i.e. Septal Defects, Cyanotic conditions)
Asthma and breathing difficulties
Other rarer conditions found in children sometimes require the attention of a multidisciplinary team of specialists. In these cases, your child's care will be carefully coordinated with his or her medical doctor to ensure utmost safety and efficiency. Should hospital care be required, Dr Terry Teo is currently accredited with the following hospital institutions:
Mount Elizabeth Orchard and Novena Hospitals
Mount Alvernia Hospital
KK Woman and Children's Hospital
National Dental Centre