Child Dental Care
When should your child’s Dental Care Start?
Proper dental care is necessary to maintain good dental health from childhood through adulthood. Beginning regular dental appointments is important at an early age. A child should make his first visit to the dentist at the age of 1. Beginning dental care early is the “most effective way to make sure a child’s teeth have a healthy start.”
After the first teeth appear, you should use a soft baby toothbrush to carefully clean the teeth two times each day, according to your Dentist. Use specially designed children’s toothpaste (without fluoride) until they are around 3 years old because many small babies and children swallow the toothpaste.
Healthy Tips for Healthy Smiles:
- A balanced diet is important to strengthen the Teeth and Gums.
- Avoid adding extra sugar to milk fresh juices etc.
- Discourage in-between snacks and sweets.
- Make the habit of washing the mouth well after every meal.
- Start you infant’s dental care right from the emergence of first tooth itself.
- Educate good oral care and hygiene habits early.
- Have regular visit to the Dentist.
Common Pediatric Dental Problems
Good Dental Health is vital to a child’s overall well being. Dental Problems can disrupt the affected child’s day to day activities. They can also affect the child’s physical appearance in the long run which may have a psychological impact on the child. Here are some of the common dental problems.
Broken teeth: This is a common problem, especially among accident-prone children. It is better to consult a dentist to make sure that there are no infections.
Thumb sucking: It is normal for a child to suck a thumb or other objects up to 5 years of age. But if it continues it may disrupt normal growth of permanent teeth, causing them to protrude. This habit may also cause unclear speech. Parents should take care not to scold the child to stop this habit. Instead, get a dentist’s advice.
Tongue thrusting: This habit may cause the front teeth to protrude. It is good idea to consult dentist.
Tooth Decay: This is a common problem among children. Tooth decay results due to the destruction of tooth enamel by dental plaque. Tooth decay causes holes in the teeth, which are also known as cavities. Get a dentist’s help to restore the teeth.
Premature tooth loss: Early loss of child’s milk (primary) tooth may occur due to accident or tooth decay. It is better to consult a dentist as this may affect normal growth of surrounding teeth.
Lip sucking: This is again a common habit, which may affect normal growth of permanent teeth.
Nursing Bottle Caries: Occurs when a child is allowed to fall asleep with a bottle filled with milk or juice. Most common in children between 12 – 24 months, breastfed infants are also at risk. Do not let the child go to bed with a bottle. Use good preventative practices and make sure to observe regular dental check-ups.
Wisdom Teeth: Erupting wisdom teeth (third molars) may sometimes cause pain. An infection called pericoronitis may occur if the tooth does not erupt fully. If this occurs, the swelling will occur in the face and/or gums. Immediate care is necessary to prevent the spread of infection.
Bruxism: Bruxism is the habit of clenching and grinding the teeth. It most often occurs at night during sleep, but it may also occur during the day. It is an unconscious behaviour, perhaps performed to release anxiety, aggression, or anger. In permanent teeth, bruxism can lead to periodontal disease (bone loss) and/or a temporomandibular joint disorder. Lower jaws are out of alignment resulting in headaches and facial pain.
Note: Clean teeth is one of the requisites to good health in children. Parents should examine their child’s teeth on a regular basis. This Practice will help them to take appropriate action at the right time.
Pediatric Dentistry Treatments:
A comprehensive range of pediatric dental services now available, includes the following but is not limited to:
Root Canal Treatment in the milk teeth:
In cases where tooth decay extends deep into the nerve portion of the tooth, it might be necessary to perform a root canal as described for the permanent tooth.
Pit and Fissure Sealants:
The chewing surfaces of teeth are never flat. They have in fact certain depressions called Pit and Fissure which serve as potential traps for food and bacterial making the teeth susceptible to decay. Therefore as a preventive measure, certain pits and fissure sealants are placed. This will prevent entrapment of food particles in them and thereby prevent tooth decay.
Pulpotomy, Pulpectomy & SS crown:
All severely damaged milk teeth are saved by this procedure wherein the decayed living tissue is removed and filled by restorative material.
The teeth that are saved by this method is further strengthened by capping with metal crowns.
The milk teeth guide the permanent ser of teeth to erupt in a proper direction. In case of early loss of these teeth by decay or trauma, the space have to be preserved by space maintainers thereby directing the erupting permanent teeth to their normal position.
Regular application of Flouride agents make tooth structure stronger and prevent tooth decay to a great extent. It usually done once in 6 months.
Habit Breaking Appliance:
Oral habit such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, lip biting cause malalignment of teeth. This can be intervened by habit breaking appliances.
Teeth affected by decay or trauma are restored with tooth coloured composite material.
Composite Filling with Strip Crown.
Common Orthodontic Problems in Kids
Excessive horizontal overlap of the front teeth. The technical term for overbite is “overjet”.
Lower front teeth biting in front of the upper front teeth.
Anterior (Front) Crossbite:
Lower front teeth biting in front of the upper front teeth. This can involve two teeth or groups of teeth.
Posterior (Back) Crossbite:
Upper back teeth biting inside of lower back teeth. This can involve two teeth or groups of teeth.
No overlap of the upper and lower front teeth when biting.
Excessive vertical overlap of the upper and lower front teeth when biting.
Misalignment of teeth caused by lack of space.
Excessive spacing between teeth usually caused by small or missing teeth or a strong tongue pushing the teeth forward.
Misguided tooth eruption which can be caused by crowding or delayed loss of baby teeth.
Habits like thumbsucking, fingersucking, tongue sucking, tongue thrusting, and nail biting can lead to problems such as open bites and large “Overbites.”
When children should visit for Orthodontic treatments?
While children can start getting orthodontic consultation at six year old, mos Dentists recommend that children have their first orthodontic consultation at age seven. This is to ensure that dental alignment issue are caught early. That doesn’t mean that children should start getting treatments at age seven. Instead, these early visits are meant to help the orthodontic professional anticipate future problems.
The right way of Brushing
- Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline.
- Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and forth strokes.
- Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
The right way of flossing
- Use about 18’’ of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.
- Gently follow the curves of your teeth.
- Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.
Preventive Dental Treatment only will ensure you child’s future, free from dental diseases!
Common Preventive Dental Treatments for Children
- Protecting the teeth from decaying by Pit & Fissure Treatment.
- Professional cleaning of teeth.
- Educating proper Oral health and hygiene habits.
- Pre determining the future mal-aligned nature of teeth and preventing the future orthodontic treatment by fixing space maintainer.
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