Children’s Dentistry / Paediatric Dentistry
Why are Milk Teeth Important?
Primary teeth, or baby teeth are important for
- proper chewing and eating,
- providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position
- permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles
- improve the development of speech and add an attractive appearance.
How to take care of milk teeth?
It is never too soon to start teaching kids the importance of taking care of their teeth and oral health. The good oral hygiene habits and routines developed by your child in early days last an entire lifetime. Once the teeth start emerging in baby’s mouth, you can start brushing teeth with very soft bristle brush which fits on your finger with grain size fluoride tooth paste.
After the age of 3 yrs. you should encourage them to brush their own teeth with pea sized fluoridated tooth paste, while you monitor and remind them to spit out the toothpaste and not swallow it. Flossing should start once two teeth in the child’s mouth touch. Kids can use age specified tooth pastes and mouthwashes. Proper care not only keeps kids healthier, but also prevent potentially uncomfortable and costly treatments later in life.
Why a Paediatric Dentist?
The paediatric dentist has an additional specialized training dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teenage years. The paediatric dentist is best qualified to meet different needs and approaches in dealing with the behaviour of infants, toddlers, preschools and teens. Paediatric dentist guides their dental growth and development, and helps them avoid future dental problems.
Preventive dental care for children
The earlier a child visits a dentist, the better the chances are of preventing future oral complications. Strong, healthy teeth not only help your child chew food easily and speak clearly, but also build self-confidence by having a great smile.
Tooth Decay (Nursing bottle caries/ Rampant caries)
If a child is sleeping with the feeding bottle or sucking on a pacifier dipped in something sweet, they develop cavities on particular surfaces of teeth.
Gum inflammation happens as a result of retained food in natural spaces between deciduous teeth or cavities.
Thumb sucking, Lip biting, tongue thrusting or grinding of teeth needs be monitored. At times, permanent teeth may also get affected if the child’s habit is very intense.
Treatment of Primary Teeth
Pit and Fissure Sealants
Deep retentive pits and fissures are sealed with fluoride releasing pit and fissure sealants to prevent tooth decay.
Established frank cavities are cleaned filled with fluoride releasing fillings.
Dental caries and traumatic injury can cause pain, abscesses and infections which can spread to permanent teeth damaging them permanently.
Pulp therapy is often referred to as a “nerve treatment”, “children’s root canal”, “pulpectomy” or “pulpotomy”. The two common forms of pulp therapy in children’s teeth are the pulpotomy and pulpectomy.
In pulpotomy, the diseased pulp tissue within the crown portion of the tooth removed and an agent is placed to prevent bacterial growth and to remove the inflammation form the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration and a stainless-steel crown.
A pulpectomy is required when the entire pulp is involved. In pulpectomy, the diseased pulp tissue is completely removed from both the crown and root. The canals are cleansed, disinfected and filled with resorbable material in primary teeth and non-resorbing material in permanent tooth. This is followed by a final restoration and a stainless-steel crown.
If a child loses a primary tooth too soon, the permanent teeth grows in crooked and lead to food lodgements, cavities, gum inflammations. These misalignments require correction with the help of preventive, interceptive or corrective orthodontic treatment.
What Is the Best Time for Orthodontic Treatment?
Treatment in Primary Dentition: (from 2 to 6 years of age)
Developing malocclusions can be recognized as early as 2-6 years of age. Treatment initiated for
- underdeveloped dental arches
- the premature loss of primary teeth (space maintainer) and
- harmful habits such as thumb sucking, lip biting, tongue thrusting,
in primary dentition stage is often very successful. Early interventions can reduce the need of major orthodontic/orthopaedic treatment at later stage.
Treatment in Mixed Dentition: (from 6 to 12 years of age)
Treatment initiated for
- jaw mal-relationships and
- dental realignment problems.
This is an excellent stage to start orthodontic treatment as your child’s hard and soft tissues are usually very responsive to orthodontic or orthopaedic forces.
Treatment in Permanent Dentition: (from 12 years above)
Treatment initiated for
- over retained milk teeth,
- crowding, spacing and mal-aligned permanent teeth
- and development of the final bite relationship.