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Pediatric Dentistry

Throughout your life you will have two sets of teeth: primary or "baby" teeth, and secondary or permanent teeth. At age six to eight months, the primary teeth appear; all 20 are in place by age three.

Permanent teeth will begin to grow around age six, and except for wisdom teeth, are all present between ages twelve and fourteen. The next teeth to grow in are the twelve-year molars, and finally the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth typically begin breaking through from age seventeen and on. The total number of permanent teeth is 32, though few people have room for all 32 teeth. This is why wisdom teeth are usually removed.

The front teeth are called incisors, the sharp "fang" teeth are canines; the next side teeth are referred to as pre-molars or bicuspids and the back teeth are molars. The second set of teeth are the ones we keep for life, so it is vital that they are brushed and flossed regularly and that periodic check-ups by a dentist are followed.

1.What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
More: Dental Care For Your Baby
2. When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up? (back to top)
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
More: Dental Care For Your Baby
3. What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
More: The Pediatric Dentist
4. Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
More: The Pediatric Dentist
5. What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
More: Emergency Dental Care
6. Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
More: Thumb, Finger and Pacifier Habits
7. How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.
More: Dental Care For Your Baby
8. How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
More: Regular Dental Visits
9. Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child's teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used after age 2-3, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out excess toothpaste after brushing, not swallow it.
More: Enamel Fluorosis
10. How do I make my child's diet safe for his teeth?
Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children's teeth.
More: Diet and Dental Health
11. How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
More: Sealants
12. How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child's primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without added fluoride), then your pediatric dentist will prescribe fluoride supplements.
More: Enamel Fluorosis
13. What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?
Soft plastic mouth guards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums from sport related injuries. A mouth guard purchased in a sporting goods store will help prevent injuries to the teeth. A custom-fitted mouth guards developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face, and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.
More: Mouth Protectors
14. What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.
More: Emergency Dental Care
15. How safe are dental X-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
More: X-Ray Use and Safety
16. How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

17.What are the different methods to prevent tooth decay ?

Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay, and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
Sealants

The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.

Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars, and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years, but needs to be checked during regular appointments.

Fluoride
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops) if necessary.
What is thumb sucking?
Thumb Sucking
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically children stop between the ages of two and four years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behaviour in your child, talk to your dentists.

 

Here are some ways help your child outgrow thumb sucking:
· Don't scold a child when they exhibit thumb sucking behavior; instead, praise them when they don't thumb suck. Focus on eliminating the cause of anxiety - thumb sucking is a comfort device that helps children cope with stress or discomfort. Praise them when they refrain from the habit during difficult periods.
· Place a bandage on the thumb or a sock on their hand at night.
Why Primary Teeth Are Important
Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.

How to prevent bad breath ?

Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Brushing and flossing daily helps to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods such as garlic or anchovies may create bad breath temporarily, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.

what is a canker sore? How to prevent Canker Sores
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border.

Orthodontic Problems
A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth, or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues such as sucking fingers or thumb for an extended time may cause malocclusion.

What is the role of Pit and Fissure Sealants
Sealants play a significant role in the prevention and control of caries in pits and fissures of primary and permanent teeth. To help protect caries-susceptible tooth surfaces, sealants should be placed as soon as possible after the tooth erupts. They are indicated for non-carious primary and permanent molars.

Where do you use stainless steel crowns in pedeatric dentistry

Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crown forms that are adapted to individual teeth.

They are indicated when gross decay, decalcification or developmental defects are present, following pulpotomies or pulpectomies that weaken the teeth and make them prone to fracture. The crown will last the life of the primary tooth, and the patient will not have to undergo repeated restorations on the same tooth.

what is Pulpotomy (Baby Root Canal)

The pulpotomy is a procedure that requires the removal of part of the nerve tissue that has been infected. The remaining vital tissue is then treated to preserve the function of the tooth.

Space Maintainers
The best space maintenance therapy is the preservation of the primary molars until they are lost naturally. Sometimes, when the teeth are unrestorable, the need for extraction is unavoidable.
The purpose of the space maintainers or "spacers" is to preserve the space for the developing permanent tooth How we treat Injuries in children
An injured immature tooth may need one of the following procedures to improve the chances of saving the tooth:
Apexogenesis
This procedure encourages the root to continue development as the pulp is healed. Soft tissue is covered with medication to encourage growth. The tip of the root (apex) will continue to close as the child gets older. In turn, the walls of the root canal will thicken. If the pulp heals, no additional treatment will be necessary. The more mature the root becomes, the better the chance to save the tooth.
Apexification
In this case, the unhealthy pulp is removed. The doctors place medication into the root to help a hard tissue form near the root tip. This hardened tissue provides a barrier for the root canal filling. At this point, the root canal walls will not continue to develop, making the tooth susceptible to fractures. So it is important to have the tooth properly restored by your dentist.

 
 
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