Dentistry for Children
Teeth begin to form between the third and sixth months of pregnancy. Unless a physician recommends otherwise, pregnant women should remember to consume dairy products which are best sources of calcium, the main building block for bones and teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends a dental check up by the child's first birthday
In addition to checking for decay and other possible problems, the dental surgeon will teach you how to properly clean your Child's teeth daily, evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb sucking and identify your Child's fluoride needs.
2 SETS OF TEETH
Mankind has been blessed with two sets of teeth
- Milk / Deciduous teeth -
Also called as baby teeth, start erupting between 6 months and
1 year of age and begun falling from 6 years onwards till about 13 yrs. There are totally
20 milk teeth in Child's mouth.
- Permanent teeth - Start erupting from the age of 6 years. Generally 32 permanent teeth are
present last to
erupt are wisdom teeth between 18-25 years of age.
CARE FOR MILK TEETH
Starts as soon as the child is born. After feeding, the baby's gums should be wiped with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Begin brushing your Child's teeth with little boiled water
as soon as the first tooth appears. Once the child learns how to rinse out, a pea-size amount of toothpaste is used. Fluoridated toothpaste is recommended as it helps to protects against cavity (decay) formation.
DECAY IN MILK TEETH
Food residue which gets stuck on the teeth forms a soft layer called 'Plaque'. This plaque
has injurious bacteria which form acids that dissolves the tooth structure. This is called decay/caries that leads to teeth breaking & formation of cavities. One serious form of tooth decay among young children is ‘baby bottle tooth decay'. This is caused by frequent and long exposures of infants teeth to liquids which contains sugar such as milk (including breast milk), fruit juices and other sweetened drinks. This is generally observed in children who are given bottle while they are sleeping. The milk forms a rich sugary layer on teeth. Bacteria consume this & start forming acids which dissolves the tooth structure to form cavities.
This is generally seen in upper front teeth.
NEED TO TREAT MILK TEETH
Early loss, decayed, over retained milk teeth can directly affect the development and
position of the permanent teeth erupting beneath and cause irregularities in them. Hence, the child unknowingly
becomes a candidate for future dental treatment. Thuse milk teeth are very important for healthy
eruption of permanent teeth.
A lot of Psychology goes into treating a child. Our friendly staff is trained to take care of the children & make them comfortable in the Dental Office. Soon the child finds our clinic more as an area of interest than as on area of fear. Various psychologic techniques are used before the child is actually treated. Computer Animation programmes help the child to develop interest & understading of dentistry. Children identify best with animation and are thrilled to see a monkey brushing his teeth. Specialized instruments are used to treat children which make treatments smoother & faster.
In young children requiring multiple visits, the treatment is generally carried out with the help of an anaesthetist under ‘ sedation’.
The procedure is carried out in our Clinic itself. The child is put to a light sleep. This is different from general anaesthesia used for major surgery. A highly sensitive 'Pulse Oximeter’ monitors child's heart rate & Oxygen saturation in the blood !!. This helps to monitor the child’s condition during sedation.
The drugs used for sedation are ultra short acting. Therefore the Anaesthetist keeps on administering
doses depending upon the requirement.
All these make sedation the choice of treatment for children. It is so well preferred that it
has been incorporated in the treatments for adults like wisdom tooth surgery.
ADVANTAGES OF TREATMENT UNDER SEDATION
- As the child is sleeping he / she is completely Co-operative.
- The sedation prevents salivation and tongue movement during treatment & therefore these do not interfere while the Dental Surgeon is working.
- These help to produce Dental Treatments of a very high quality.
- Generally all the treatments are completed at one time. This saves a lot of time & frustration because of multiple Dental visits.
- Lastly this way of treatment removes all the fears & trauma in the minds of children & development of “Dental Phobia” is eliminated. The child learns not to fear Dental treatment.
PREVENTION OF DECAY IN MILK TEETH
Fluoride Treatment - A specialized treatment in which a concentrated fluoride Gel is applied to the teeth to reduce the chances of decay. The fluoride reacts with the enamel and makes it more resistant to attack by decay producing bacteria. It is done at a regular intervals of 6 months.
Pit and fissure sealants -
Sealants are special free flowing materials which seal (fill) the pits and fissures (grooves) on the chewing surfaces of teeth. This prevents the food from getting stuck in these areas and hence reduces cavity formation.
- Brushing after meals.
- Minimizing sticky food in between meals.
- Using a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Give your child plain water for thirst
- Regular Dental check-ups.
- Attitudes and habits established at an early age are important in helping
child maintaining good dental health throughout life.