Dentists in Moscow: Finding the best for your children's teeth
This guide explains how to locate the best children's dentist for your kids, and what to consider when taking care of both baby and growing pearly whites.
Finding a family dentist in Moscow
There are some excellent dental clinics with highly-trained and respected dentists in Moscow, both Russian and Western. You should contact your company’s HR department, ideally before you move, to ensure you have good medical insurance that includes dental cover. See Expatica's Dentist listings for more options.
Once in Moscow, referrals from friends, colleagues and expat clubs will also help. You should aim to research and visit a shortlist of clinics on arrival, before any issues or emergencies crop up.
Focus your queries on education, certification and on-going training as well as preventative care and hygienist awareness. Be sure to ask lots of questions and check their sterilisation processes.
If you’re concerned about communication, ask if they have someone who speaks your language or if they can organise a translator (at what additional cost, if any).
Overall, you can expect to receive as good, if not better, dental treatment in Moscow as abroad. The better Russian clinics, both private and state, are incorporating Western style management and concepts, while most Western clinics continue to provide high quality care by Western and foreign-educated professionals.
Looking after your child’s teeth
By visiting their family dentist regularly, children have less chance of suffering from dental health problems, such as decay and crooked teeth, as they develop and grow. Children will begin losing their teeth at approximately 4 years old and will continue to lose their baby teeth until the age of 12 when all the permanent teeth finally erupt.
Children should start visiting their dentist from as early an age as possible -- by 18 to 24 months old or earlier if an area of concern is noticed -- for regular check-ups, which will get them used to visiting the dentist and help expel any fears (both yours as the parent and theirs).
Generally, if the child has stopped sucking his/her thumb by 5 years old, there is no permanent damage. If the child is a vigorous and constant thumbsucker, however, there can be moderate to severe movement of teeth and prevention of normal bone growth.
Teething can be painful for babies but is usually easy to spot. They may become agitated, develop high temperatures or want to chew on everything.
Cooling teething rings and cool drinks can help ease their pain, or anaesthetic gel (use sparingly). You will need to clean your child’s teeth with special brushes or cloth as teeth erupt and continue to help them clean their teeth to promote good brushing techniques and habits until around seven years old. Their dentist will be able to provide more specific advice.
It is very important to maintain healthy teeth from the start. If a baby's tooth decays or is removed too early, the space for the permanent tooth is lost and can only be regained through orthodontic treatment.
Infected baby teeth can lead to stained, pitted and weaker permanent teeth. Use only water or milk in your baby’s bottle as acids from juice can attack teeth. You should limit your child’s use of a dummy or thumb sucking, which affect the growth of teeth and may lead to needing braces later on. Again, never dip a dummy into juice.
Healthy eating helps healthy teeth. Avoid giving your child sugary snacks and drinks. Encourage them to eat plenty of nutritious food instead, such as fruit and vegetables, and drinking water and milk (or well-diluted juice).
Sealants may be advised for older children to protect their permanent teeth. This is a plastic material applied to the chewing surfaces designed to act as a barrier to plaque and acids. They are quick and easy to apply during a visit to the dentist and last several years.
Children should wear a dentist-fitted mouthguard while playing contact sports to prevent any injury. The most common dental-related issues faced by teenagers include the need for orthodontic treatment (braces), bad breath, wisdom teeth removal and fillings.
If a tooth is knocked out, and it's a permanent tooth, time is crucial. Immediately stick the tooth back in the socket (don't worry about getting it straight), and call your dentist. If you cannot place the tooth in the socket, put it in a glass of milk and get your child to the dentist as quickly as possible. Do not put the tooth back in the socket if the tooth is a baby tooth. If in doubt, put the tooth in milk and go to your dentist immediately.
In any case, preventative care is important. Children, as well as parents, need to understand the importance of cleaning teeth regularly, eating healthy foods and visiting the dentist. By visiting their family dentist regularly, children have less chance of suffering from dental health problems, such as decay and crooked teeth, as they develop and grow.
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