Family Dentistry

Your family dentist in Catford, Lewisham & South East London, the Penerley Road Dental Practice offers a full range of routine preventive and treatment options for the entire family.

mother and child brush teeth family dentistry at penerley road dental practice

Children’s dentistry

Children should come and see us at the Penerley Road Dental Practice as soon as their first teeth appear. This not only gives us the opportunity to check on their oral health development, but helps little ones become familiar with their surroundings and the experience of seeing a dentist. Even if your baby’s teeth haven’t come through, you should bring them to see us by the age of 1 at the latest.

Our dentists and hygienists will be delighted to see your children and get them off to a sparkling start when it comes to their oral health. Tooth decay is still on the rise in the UK, in part thanks to our sugar-rich diets, so the earlier and more often we see your children, the better their chances of avoiding cavities. As well as teaching both parents and children the best techniques and products for tooth brushing at home, we can advise on diet and nutrition and provide preventive treatments such as fluoride varnish and fissure sealants. For older children, we’ll also be able to spot any early indicators that braces might be required.


At what age should children first brush their teeth?

As soon as their first milk teeth appear, you should either brush children’s teeth for them or supervise them, until they are around the age of 7 or 8.

How long should children brush their teeth for?

Children should be encouraged to brush their teeth at least every morning and evening for two minutes. Make sure your child spits out excess toothpaste, but does not rinse with too much water, as this washes away the beneficial fluoride in the toothpaste.

What is fluoride varnish and does my child need it?

A very quick and simple procedure, fluoride varnish is a protective, strengthening gel that is painted onto the teeth using a soft brush. Bring your children to the dentist for a fluoride varnish application at least twice a year, more if the dentist recommends it.

What are fissure sealants and does my child need them?

Sealants are a smooth plastic material that is placed over the deep pits and grooves (fissures) of the back teeth, helping prevent food and bacteria getting stuck in those hard-to-brush areas. We will recommend sealants if we think your child is at risk of cavities.

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sports guard at penerley road dental practice

Sports guards

If you or your child enjoys playing a contact sport, you’ll need to invest in a mouth guard to avoid dental injury, trauma or tooth loss. Whether you’re a serious competitor or an avid amateur, a sports guard is a small investment that could save you a lot of stress, a lot of money and a lot of time off from doing what you love most! Pop into the practice to organise your custom-made sports guard, which will provide optimum comfort and protection during play.

Night guards and splints for teeth grinding

It’s estimated that about one-third of the population suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism) or jaw clenching – and often we do it without knowledge, in our sleep. If you often wake in the morning with a sore, aching jaw – or perhaps your partner has heard you grinding your teeth in the night – come into the practice to discuss having a night guard or a custom splint made for you. They can be an extremely effective solution – as well as relieving the pain associated with bruxism and clenching, they can realign, manipulate growth structure and prevent tooth damage. Night guards are the most effective (and cheapest) solution for patients who grind or clench their teeth.


Why choose a custom sports guard?

We can make your custom sports guard in-house. It will fit your mouth precisely and comfortably, and help protect not only against tooth loss and injury, but also against damage to the jaw and even concussion.

How long will my custom sports guard last?

Children will need to replace their sports guard fairly regularly while their teeth and jaw are still growing. For adults, sports guards will need replacing as and when they begin to look worn – we recommend bringing your sports guard with you to your regular check-up, so that the dentist can assess its condition.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is another word for teeth grinding, which is something we do involuntarily during times of stress, while we’re concentrating on a task, or during our sleep. Bruxism can cause broken teeth, jaw pain, loss of fillings and severe wear of the tooth enamel.

What causes bruxism?

Stress is the number-one cause of teeth grinding and jaw pain, so in addition to having a night guard fitted, it may advisable to consult your GP about ways of reducing your stress levels.

How can a night guard help bruxism?

A night guard places a cushioning barrier between your teeth, alleviating the symptoms of bruxism.

Can I wear a sports guard instead of a night guard to alleviate bruxism?

No. Night guards and sports guards offer protection from different kinds of forces, and a sports guard is likely to feel extremely uncomfortable if worn at night.

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“From the minute you walk in the door and meet the friendly, efficient receptionist you feel at ease. The dentists are patient and reassuring and explain everything. They are gentle and kind. The dental nurses are also friendly and reassuring. Top service from start to finish. Don’t be scared!”