Pedodontics (Dentistry for children)

 

1) What age should my child first visit the dentist?
2) How do I take care of my babies teeth?
3) What can I do when my child has teething pain?
4) Is it okay for my child to thumb suck?
5) What is nursing bottle syndrome?
6) What is fluoride therapy?
7) What are pit and fissure sealants?

What age should my child first visit the dentist?

Children are a precious gift. An early start in regular dental care forms an important part of maintaining total health. Dentists recommend the first dental visit between the ages of one and two, so that the child starts to get familiar with the dental surgeon.

How do I take care of my babies teeth?

Before teeth appear, Clean the mouth with a damp cloth or gauze after meals and at bed time, this establishes at an early age the importance of having clean gums and teeth. Teeth start appearing in the mouth after about six months, but can vary from one baby to another. Once teeth start erupting they can be cleaned with a soft bristled brush in the morning and night.

What can I do when my child has teething pain?

Between the ages of six months to Three years the child will have teething pain , which is associated with sore and tender gums. The pain can be soothed by gently rubbing the gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon or wet gauze. A clean cool teething ring can also be given for the baby to chew on.


Is it okay for my child to thumbsuck?

Most babies thumb suck, this habit should normally stop by the time the child about two years of age. If the child does not stop , discourage it after age four. Prolonged thumb sucking can lead to crowding and crooked teeth and the child can have bite problems. The dental surgeon will assist you in breaking this habit by giving certain appliances for the child to wear.


What is nursing bottle syndrome?

Teeth start appearing in the mouth after about six months, but can vary from one baby to another. Once teeth start erupting they can be cleaned with a soft bristled brush in the morning and night. These teeth are now prone to decay. It is important to prevent the “nursing bottle syndrome” which leads to extensive decay of teeth. If the child is given a bottle filled with milk, formula or fruit juice at bedtime or for long periods during the day, the extended exposure of teeth to the sugar in these leads to decay. To prevent this clean the teeth after feeds, and at bedtime give the child a bottle filled with water instead of milk.

What is fluoride therapy?

Once the permanent teeth start erupting . It is advisable to start fluoride therapy. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay , it also helps to repair minor decay damage. Fluoride therapy is normally done once or twice a year by the dental surgeon using fluoride gel.

What are pit and fissure sealants?

At the age of six to seven years the first “permanent” tooth the lower first molar tooth erupts. Once the permanent teeth start erupting , it is advisable to cover these teeth with sealants. Sealants are plastic materials , which are applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth ie. premolars and molars . The back teeth have depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) in which bacteria and fermentable foods like sugars and starches can be found .These can lead to tooth decay as the pits and fissures cannot be cleaned with a tooth brush.
Sealants seal off the pits and fissures from the oral environment, thus preventing decay from occurring in the pits and fissures. The procedure for their application is also quite simple. The teeth are first cleaned then they are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth surface. The sealant is then ’painted’ on and hardened with a special curing light. As long as the sealant is present on the tooth surface it prevents decay from occurring.