Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood. Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life.
Pediatric dentists in our clinic are specially trained to handle problems particular to children, such as dental developmental difficulties and root canals on adult teeth that have not fully formed. However, most children are treated by general dentists
Special needs dentistry, also known as special care dentistry, is a speciality of dentistry concerned with the oral health of people who have intellectual disability, or who are affected by other medical, physical, or psychiatric issues
At what age should my child first visit a dentist ?
Ideally a child has to visit a pediatric dentist by his / her first birthday. Preventive medicine has always stressed on well-checks for children. This concept is long been applied to dentistry and focuses on the necessity for regular visits to pediatric dentists once in every 6 months even before anything emergent occurs. At V SMILE Dental, our senior pediatric dentists evaluate each and every child thoroughly and make sure the child doesn’t have cavities. Also periodical fluoride varnish application and sealant administration minimizes the possibility of dental cavities in the future. No drills, no scary instruments – prevention is better than cure!
Many parents assume that cavities in baby teeth don’t matter, because they’ll be lost anyway. But that’s not true. Dental decay in baby teeth can negatively affect permanent teeth and lead to future dental problems.
Teaching Good Dental Habits
The best way to protect your child’s teeth is to teach him good dental habits. With the proper coaching he’ll quickly adopt good oral hygiene as a part of his daily routine. However, while he may be an enthusiastic participant, he won’t yet have the control or concentration to brush his teeth all by himself. You’ll need to supervise and help him so that the brush removes all the plaque—the soft, sticky, bacteria- containing deposits that accumulate on the teeth, causing tooth decay. Also, keep an eye out for areas of brown or white spots which might be signs of early decay.
As soon as your child has a tooth you should be helping your child brush her teeth two times a day with a smear (size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush that has soft bristles. There are brushes designed to address the different needs of children at all ages, ensuring that you can select a toothbrush that is appropriate for your child.
Amount of Toothpaste
At age 3, you can start using a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste, which helps prevent cavities. If your child doesn’t like the taste of the toothpaste, try another flavor. Also try to teach your child not to swallow it, although at this age they are often still too young to learn to rinse and spit. Swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can make white or brown spots on your child’s adult teeth.
You’ll hear all kinds of advice on whether the best brushing motion is up and down, back and forth, or around in circles. The truth is that the direction really doesn’t matter. What’s important is to clean each tooth thoroughly, top and bottom, inside and out. This is where you’ll encounter resistance from your child, who probably will concentrate on only the front teeth that he can see. It may help to turn it into a game of “find the hidden teeth.” Incidentally, a child cannot brush his teeth without help until he’s older—about six to eight years old. So be sure to supervise or do the actual brushing if necessary.
Too Much Sugar
Besides regular toothbrushing with the right amount of fluoride toothpaste, your child’s diet will play a key role in his dental health. And, of course, sugar is the big villain. The longer and more frequently his teeth are exposed to sugar, the greater the risk of cavities. “Sticky sugar” foods such as sticky caramel, toffee, gum, and dried fruit—particularly when it stays in his mouth and bathes his teeth in sugar for hours—could do serious damage. Make sure to always brush your child’s teeth after a sugary food item. In addition, do not allow your child to have any sugar-containing liquid in a sippy cup for a prolonged period.
During regular well-child visits, the pediatrician will check your child’s teeth and gums to ensure their health. If she notices problems, she may refer your child to a pediatric dentist (pedodontist) or a general dentist with an interest in treating the dental needs of children. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that all children see a pediatric dentist and establish a “dental home” by age one.
As part of her dental checkup the dentist will make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems and give you further advice on proper hygiene. She also may apply a topical fluoride solution to provide extra protection against cavities. If you live in an area where the water is not fluoridated, she may prescribe fluoride drops or chewable tablets for your toddler. For more guidance on fluoride supplements, talk to your pediatrician.
How to prevent cavities ?
Good oral hygiene removes bacteria and the left over food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauze or clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water. For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visits every six months to the pediatric dentist, beginning at your child’s first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.
Your Pediatric dentist may also recommend protective sealants or home fluoride treatments for your child. Sealants can be applied to your child’s molars to prevent decay on hard to clean surfaces.
- Create awareness about the importance of milk teeth and prevention programs to avoid early childhood caries
- Decrease the child’s anxiety level and to provide painless dental treatment under inhalation sedation (laughing gas)
- Incorporate preventive and interceptive orthodontics at the early mixed dentition stage, to prevent severely malalligned teeth / growth abnormalities of the jaw, in the growing children.
Dental sealants are acting as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material, usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often
Dental sealants can last many years. If necessary, it is also possible to place a new dental sealant on the tooth.
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