WAY TO HEALTHY SMILES
Good oral health care should begin at home at a very early age. Lack of such care during childhood can lead to serious complications in children and continue in adulthood. Pedodontist (Pediatric dentist) is the dental specialist who is specialized to handle dental problems in kids.
When is the first dental visit for a child?
Child’s first dental visit should be by his/her first birthday or within six months afterthe child’s first tooth erupts. Child should be taken for regular dental visits once in every six months to keep a check on child’s oral health status.
Why are milk teeth so important?
Milk teeth develop even before birth. Milk teeth usually erupt by 6-7 months of age. Complete set of milk teeth erupt by 3 years of age. Milk teeth are to be safeguarded for overall health of the child. They do following functions:
- Proper diet- If decayed teeth are present, child cannot eat properly and dietary deficiency and malnutrition are seen in the child. Maintaining milk teeth properly helps child to take proper diet.
- Proper speech development- proper alignment of milk teeth helps child to speak all the syllables properly and improve the speech.
- Adult teeth- proper alignment of milk teeth helps in the proper alignment of adult teeth.
- Overall health- overall health of the child depends on the oral health. So child be taken for regular visits to the dentist to know the status of the child’s oral health.
Oral health care tips for a child:
- Oral health care should start even before the tooth erupts. For infants, use a wet gauze/cloth to wipe the gums.
- Avoid bed time feeding other than water after the first tooth erupts.
- Child should start brushing by the age of eighteen months. Use a soft suitable brush without a tooth paste.
- Use a small smear of tooth paste after 2 years of age.
- Use a pea sized tooth paste between 3-6 years of age.
- Brush twice daily.
- Child should brush under supervision of parents up to 8 years of age.
- Fluoride containing tooth paste is always recommended since fluoride has antibacterial, remineralization properties which protect child’s teeth against cavities.
- Child should always brush in a circular/ rolling motion.
- Child’s diet also should be supervised. Check if child is having more amount of sugars, sticky foods, or frequents snacks which can make food retain on child’s teeth and attacked by bacteria resulting in tooth decay.
- In case of any broken tooth, clean the area with warm salt water and apply ice if the area is swollen and consult the doctor immediately.
What are pit and fissure sealants?
Pits and fissures are usually present on the back teeth. Sometimes, they are very deep making the child difficult to clean those areas. As a result decay may start in those areas due to entrapped food.In high caries risk children, dentist may seal the pits and fissure present on the teeth using sealants to prevent the teeth from decay. These sealants can last for many years and can also be changed if needed.
Safeguarding primary teeth or milk teeth is very important for overall well being of the child. Cavities can be prevented by taking your child for regular dental visits to Pedodontist, thus helping your child free from dental pain. Also, parents should encourage their children to follow good oral health practices at home like regular and correct way of brushing, keeping a limit on certain types of foods.Know about pediatric dental care and give your child a healthy smile.