Czech dentist Michaela Štětinová: “Many believe that children don’t need to use interdental brushes. It’s a myth.”

Milk teeth also require proper maintenance.

Paediatric dentist MDDr. Michaela Štětinová reckons that the best method for achieving a healthy mouth in the long term is perfect home care and regular dentist visits. In this short interview, Michaela highlights good paediatric prevention methods, and the joy of turning fear into a willingness to cooperate.

What routines do you find to be the most critical for maintaining proper oral health?

Using the right tools and the right brushing technique. Neither one can work without the other.

What does the word prevention mean to you?

In my opinion, prevention mainly means a good provision of information, and making sure the patient has access to all the information needed in order to take good care of their teeth and gums. 

Secondly, checking whether the patient understands this information and is able to apply it in practice is no less important. This is due to the fact that if a patient goes regularly for preventive check-ups but doesn’t know how to take care of their teeth and gums properly on a daily basis, the dentist may be able to discover problems in time, but new problems will keep appearing all throughout the patient’s life. 

Simply put, prevention means perfect home care in combination with regular visits to the dentist and to the dental hygienist. 

What is your golden rule or advice that you tell your patients often?

A clean tooth will never get sick.

What’s the biggest challenge of your job?

Managing my own practice for paediatric patients. Treating only paediatric patients can be a bit of a challenge, but somehow I sense that the biggest challenge just awaits me.

What’s the one thing you like the most about your job?

The thing that brings me the most joy is when a child labelled as untreatable comes to my office scared, and after several sessions we conquer his or her fears and restore the will to go to the dentist. 

In your opinion, what’s the most important thing in an oral health routine?

Brushing every day and using all the oral hygiene tools properly.

What’s the common oral health myth that you always need to explain to your patients?

With regards to the field of paediatric dentistry, myth number one is that milk teeth are only temporary and don’t need maintenance. Myth number two is that children do not need to use interdental brushes. Unfortunately, these myths are still being spread by some of my colleagues in the Czech Republic.

MDDr. Michaela Štětinová is a paediatric dentist based in Pilsen, Czech Republic. In the years 2007–2012, she studied at the prestigious Charles University at the Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen. She works at a private dental clinic, Complexdental in Pilsen, and is currently enjoying maternity leave. Ambitiously committed to children’s oral health, she soon plans to have her own practice dedicated to paediatric patients – something that is not common in the Czech Republic, where paediatric practices are usually part of larger clinics. Michaela spreads awareness of children’s oral health on her Instagram @Dentist_for_small.