Pedodontics is a field of dentistry that focuses on dental health of babies and children between the ages of 0 and 13. It aims to maintain the health of milk and permanent teeth of children as well as to recover the problematic teeth. Healthy milk teeth will enable the permanent teeth to be healthy as well. Therefore, children must go to a dentist at early ages, and receive education on dental care.
Treatments applied at early ages for dental health directly affect the dental health that your children will have for a lifetime. Thus it is quite an important field that must be handled with care. Pedodontia involves many different fields of interest, and each of these fields is quite effective on the overall dental health. For instance, not only a treatment for caries is applied, but also preventive procedures required for the teeth not to be decayed are performed and children are informed about dental health.
Preventive Dentistry in Children
The most common mistake of parents concerning dental health of their children is that they take their children to a dentist only when they experience a dental problem. However, children experience a dental problem more often than an adult. Therefore, regular checks and taking the required precautions are quite important.
The first step for children’s dental health is the education to be given to children on dental hygiene. Thanks to such education, children become much more careful and informed about their dental health in the future, which prevents potential dental problems.
The most common dental problem for children is the tooth decay. The most effective preventive treatments to avoid tooth decay are fissure sealants and topical fluoride applications. Performed regularly in children, fluoride applications enable a healthier tooth structure by preventing tooth decay to a significant degree. Fluoride applications that are applied 2 to 3 times a year based on requirement in routine checks of children are quite useful in preventive medicine.
Another preventive treatment that covers the chewing surfaces of molars and protect the teeth against decay is the “Fissure Sealants”. Enamel of the teeth that start to come in is very sensitive to decay since the calcification process is not complete yet. Therefore, fissure sealants applied after the teeth have started to come in enable early protection against tooth decays. Fissure sealant application is a simple and painless process. It is also very beneficial for overcoming the dental phobia of children. Children that have such an experience will also be comfortable in potential treatments to be performed in the future.
Another field of preventive dentistry is the “Preventive Orthodontia Treatments” applied in children. Most of the orthodontic treatments are performed due to early loss of milk teeth caused by reasons such as caries, trauma. Protecting the space of lost milk teeth with space maintainer applications is important for the permanent tooth to position properly in the jaw. At early ages, teeth of children are more inclined to change, deform or recover. Therefore, early measures taken against the problems in tooth sequence may prevent treatments that would be difficult and take a long time at the later ages.
Dental Health in Babies
Babies should undergo dentist examinations regularly for 2 to 3 times a month starting from the age of 1. Prevention of potential dental problems will be more easy thanks to such regular follow-ups. In addition to dental examinations, brushing the teeth must be supported until the milk teeth come in completely, and then parents should get their babies adopt the required dental care habits.
One of the most common dental problems in babies is “Early Childhood Caries” that is also known as “Feeding Bottle Caries”. Caused by the milk left in the mouth of babies that are used to be fed with feeding bottle which leads to bacteria formation, caries in milk teeth are called feeding bottle caries. The milk given with feeding bottle especially before going to bed at night or during sleeping causes feeding bottle caries.
Measures To Be Taken When Teeth of Babies Come In
Several habits that are believed to be true when raising babies may actually become a threat for the dental health of your baby. For instance, babies must not be allowed to sleep while breastfeeding and teeth must be cleaned with a damp cloth after feeding. Furthermore, babies must not be allowed to sleep with a feeding bottle that includes sweet mixtures such as honey milk. One of the most common mistakes made while raising babies is the warmth test done on the food in the feeding bottle by the parent with her/his mouth. This might cause the bacteria in the mouth to be transmitted to the baby and thus diseases.
Treatment of Milk Teeth
Milk teeth are the teeth that stay in the mouth until the beginning of primary school and are later replaced by the permanent teeth. Health and sequence of milk teeth affect the health of permanent teeth directly especially in early childhood when tooth decay is observed frequently. Therefore, dentist must make the necessary interventions in caries and problems that might occur in the milk teeth. Caries in milk teeth are treated with treatments such as filling, amputation, root canal therapy and tooth extraction. When the treatment of these teeth is not made on time, serious problems such as deformation and tooth loss might occur in the later ages.
Need-to-Knows About Milk Teeth
- There are 20 milk teeth.
- The first milk tooth comes in between the 6th and 12th month.
- The time for the milk teeth to come in varies based on the development of children.
- There might be redness and itching in the gums during the teething period.
- Problems such as pain and fever might be experienced in some cases when teeth come in. You should consult a dentist in such cases.
- Teething is completed between the ages of 2.5 and 3.
- Milk teeth start to be replaced by permanent teeth at the ages of 6 to 8. This process is completed around the age of 12.