A child begins to grow its first teeth in 6 months. Thereafter till 24 months or 2 years, they grow other baby teeth or primary teeth one by one. Your baby begins to bite any objects due to the irritability caused by the erupting teeth. When the baby is three years old, all primary teeth would have erupted. The jaw, the bone structure that is supporting and the facial bones, all begin to grow as they reach four years of age. Between the age of six and twelve, the child would now have both the primary and permanent teeth in their mouth.
We all tend to think those baby teeth anyways fall and so why to care for them. As a matter of fact, nature knows well that early years of a baby is characterized by more sugar in their diet. Even mother’s milk has sugar in it. Hence the baby teeth are prone to decay and hence need to be safeguarded. Their significance is
- Actually, baby teeth or primary teeth help babies in eating their food
- They aid in speech development.
- Should a baby teeth fall prematurely the adjacent teeth might grow into that space making the jaw prone to crowding
The recommended first dental visit of a baby should happen when they have their first baby teeth erupt. If you have missed then take your baby to the dentist just around his or her’s first birthday. During the first visit, the pediatric dentist would do the following
- Look out for any signs of decay
- Tell you how to clean the infants teeth by clean cloth
- Inform you how to protect the baby’s oral hygiene
Baby teeth need to be cared for until the permanent teeth erupt. The dentist might recommend a dental sealant. They can help protect teeth against any further decay.
- A filling can be done
- If the decay runs deep, the dentist may opt for pulpotomy or pulpectomy
- If the crown of the teeth are badly decayed that the structure is lost, a prosthetic crown can be placed after doing the necessary pulpotomy or pulpectomy procedure.
- If baby teeth have decayed to a point (beyond salvaging) that it might affect the underlying permanent tooth that will not erupt immediately, then the dentist would prefer to extract the decayed tooth.
Prevention is always better. Here are few things you can ensure to prevent your child from having teeth decay.
- The foremost prevention step is to reduce the amount of sugar intake
- Give children a balanced diet. A diet high in calcium, protein and necessary vitamins and minerals, and less in sugar is the key to good oral health.
- Avoid sticky foods
- Diligent brushing and flossing to be made a habit by the children
- Visit a dentist every six months to ensure periodic monitoring of dental health and professional dental cleaning.
- Fluoride varnish application if necessary to keep decay in check.
- Regularly brushing and flossing their teeth.
At Expert Dental Care, we do the following pediatric dentistry procedures to keep your child’s oral region healthy.
- Monitoring the general oral health. Checking for any signs of dental caries
- General dental health advice which will include proper brushing and flossing techniques
- Professional dental cleaning
- Recommend X-ray of the oral area in case many teeth have decayed and to understand the extent of decay. The x-ray also helps the dentist device a precise treatment plan.
- Teeth fillings using filling materials
- Extracting tooth that has decayed beyond a point
- Performing pulpotomy or pulpectomy
- Fluoride treatment to help prevent further decay
- Providing pit and fissure sealants or dental sealants to prevent tooth decay
- Checking for any orthodontic treatment needs by the time the child reaches six years of age.
Common Pediatric Dental Problems
Children’s diet has more sugar. Even mother’s feed has sugar in it. The oral bacteria feed on the leftover sugar in the mouth. These bacteria form a thin layer of biofilm on the teeth. The oral bacteria in the biofilms destroy the primary teeth by making them undergo tooth decay. Primary teeth (Milk teeth) are affected faster than the secondary teeth by tooth decay.
Rampant caries or Baby Bottle Decay is the demineralization of the organic portion of the teeth. The demineralization results in the destruction of all the organic parts of the teeth. They are primarily caused by the oral bacteria. Baby Bottle Decay or Nursing Bottle Caries – Almost similar to rampant caries. It is rampant caries in kids that happen due to the feeding habit. If the kids are trained wrongly to drink milk from the nursing bottles even when they are asleep in the night, the habit might lead to baby bottle decay.
When an abscess or inflammation is present in the gingival or gum area, it is termed as gum abscess. They are present close to the neck of the tooth, the region of gum where the tooth begins to appear. A gum abscess is an inflammation of the gum which is mostly due to any food particles that impact the gums. It happens due to tooth decay also.
When a mouth sore (also called mouth ulcer) happens in a recurrent fashion then they might be an aphthous ulcer. They typically appear on the soft tissues of the inner oral region which does not have contact with the bones. So aphthous ulcer happens on the inner side of the lips, beneath the tongue and the inside of the cheeks.
Some of the common habits in children can cause damage to the alignment of the teeth or can be instrumental in proliferating oral bacteria.
- The habit of thumb sucking has the potential to thrust the front two upper teeth out of their alignment. This can cause teeth space. Orthodontic treatment might be needed to correct the misalignment.
- Tongue Thrust – Tongue thrust is a habit where the baby gets habituated to put the tongue in between the upper and the lower front teeth. This is a behavioral pattern where the tongue protrudes during swallowing, speaking and also while at rest. They can produce bite related problems.
- Mouth Breathing – Mouth breathing has potential to cause many health issues. They can cause dry mouth because of the breathing and hence can increase the chances of dental caries. They can also cause respiratory infections. This defect can be diagnosed in childhood and can be treated for. In young age, it is a reversible condition. Orthodontic devices to expand the jaw are available to treat this condition.