WHY CARE FOR MILK TEETH?
Good oral health is an important part of total health. Dental care and good dental hygiene is important for every child to keep their teeth and gums healthy and free from disease. This will also start a good habit for the future. Pediatric dentistry & orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of young people. Pediatric dentists are skilled to meet the needs of infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs.
Pleasant visits to the dental office promote the establishment of trust and confidence in the child that will last a lifetime. Our goal, along with our staff, is to help all children feel good about visiting the dentist and teach them how to care for their teeth. From our special office designs to our communication style, our main concern is what is best for your child.
Tooth decay or dental caries still remains the most common childhood disease. It is commonly referred to as early childhood decay and based on the severity; it is graded as mild, moderate and the severe type. It is extremely important to diagnose and treat this condition early so that there are no untoward effects in the permanent dentition.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Dental decay is an infection of the tooth and hence early check up can help avoid unnecessary cavities and dental treatment.
Four things are necessary for cavities to form: 1) a tooth; 2)bacteria; 3) sugars or other carbohydrates and 4) time.
Keeping teeth strong, preventing bacteria from organizing into harmful colonies, healthy eating habits, and understanding the role that time plays can, to a great extent help prevent tooth decay.
Importance of Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth)
It is very important that primary teeth are kept in place until they are lost naturally. These teeth serve a number of critical functions.Primary teeth:
Infants and Children
Getting an early start in regular dental care is an important step on the road to teaching the child healthy lifetime habits. The first dental visit should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to detection of early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated. Early visit helps the pediatric dentist to provide the parent with an anticipatory guidance that includes:
Adolescents have special needs. Appearance and self-image are very important to them. Decayed or poorly positioned teeth or jaws might make them more self-conscious. Teens also eat frequently, and unhealthy snack foods tend to become a major part of their regular diet. We provide a professional,sensitive and caring approach to restoring and guiding teeth, and teaching preventive dental health care through the teen’s high school years
Young People with Special Needs
People with significant medical, physical, or mental disabilities often present challenges to dentists. Pediatric dentists are well trained to address their special needs and provide the best care possible.
Parents guide to eruption of teeth
Teeth vary in size, shape and their location in the jaws. These differences enable teeth to work together to chew, speak and smile. They also help give the face its shape and form. At birth the child usually has 20 primary (baby) teeth, which often erupt about six months of age. They are then shed at various times throughout childhood. By age 21, all 32 of the permanent teeth would have usually erupted.
Primary Teeth Eruption Chart
PermanentTeeth Eruption Chart
Maintaining these teeth by proper brushing right from the time of eruption can prevent any dental problems.
Brushing technique in children: MOI technique
M = Masticatory surfaces: brush with small horizontal movements.Start at the back and brush slowly towards the front.
O = Outer surfaces: clean them with small circular movements.
I = Inner surfaces: use small up and down movements.
Flossing in children
Once any two of your child's teeth touch each other, it's time to start flossing. Flossing helps prevent cavities by removing plaque and food particles caught between teeth. It should be an important part of your child's dental routine.
Your child should be able to floss his or her own teeth by the time he or she is 9 years old. To floss younger children's teeth, place them in your lap facing you. The technique is the same, no matter who is doing it. To floss your child's teeth:
1.Takeabout 18 inches of dental floss and wrap one end around each of your middle fingers.
2. Using your thumbs and index fingers as guides, gently slide the floss between two teeth, using a saw-like motion.
3.Once at the gum line, pull both ends of the floss in the same direction to form a C shape against one tooth. Pull the floss tightly and move it up and down against one tooth.
4.Pull the floss against the other tooth and repeat the motion.
Repeat this for all of the teeth. Be sure to floss both sides of the teeth farthest back in the mouth.
Use of mouth wash in children
Care should be taken that they are not accidentally swallowed, especially by children, to avoid toxicity. Small children are not advised mouth washes, because they are not able to spit out properly. More over, most children have good gingival health.
Fluoride containing mouth rinses help to prevent dental decay. They may be recommended for:
1. Children having orthodontic treatment
2. Children with high caries risk
3. Patients suffering from dry mouth and
4. Patients who have undergone radiation therapy.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS!
1. Are milk teeth important and is it necessary to treat them?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. It is extremely important to treat the milk teeth as they serve as a scaffold for the developing permanent dentition. Treating the milk teeth will not only free the child of pain but will in turn prevent unnecessary damage to the permanent dentition and will also facilitate the eruption of the permanent teeth in their normal order and form.
In general, yes. All children need supplemental fluoride after they are six months old to help prevent cavities. For most children,they can get this fluoride from the water they drink, if they are in an area where the city water supply has an adequate amount of fluoride in it (greater than 0.6 ppm). In certain cases where there is no fluoride in drinking water ,supplements can be given in various forms. It is in general better to have your child drink water that is supplemented with fluoride instead of giving extra fluoride drops or supplements.Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which is permanent white to brown discoloration of the enamel of the teeth.
Sealants are usually applied to the back teeth to help protect the grooves and pits of these teeth that can be hard to clean and are prone to developing cavities. A sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the teeth, hardens, and provides a barrier against plaque and other harmful substances. Sealants should be applied to the 1st and 2nd permanent molars and appropriate premolars as soon as possible after they erupt(usually after 6 years of age).
- Brush their teeth twice daily. You should help them to brush properly.
- Teach them about good eating habits and minimize snacking between meals.
- Do not let your child often eat foods that stick to their teeth.
- Do not give your child foods and drinks that contain excessive amounts of acid and sugar frequently.
- Visit a dentist for their check up every six to 12months.
- Treat any dental problem that occurs promptly.