Pediatric & Preventive Dentistry
Your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled a little after their first birthday!
At Smile Matters,we want children to have positive first experiences of going to the dentist that will influence the way they care about their teeth and the way they feel about going to the dentist throughout their life. Our child friendly atmosphere and caring ways of Dr.Reshma make children confident patients.
We firmly believe in the old adage “Prevention is better than cure”.
As professionals we recommend to bring your child to the dentist at ages of 3,6,10 and 12 for carrying out prophylactic Tooth Sealants and Fluoride Applications to prevent any cavity formation in their teeth and enjoying a healthy permanent dentition.
What are Sealants ?
Sealants are a safe and painless way or protecting your children’s teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective resin coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that keeps food and bacteria from getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing decay.
What is involved?
The process is usually quick and straightforward taking only a few minutes per tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and dried. The liquid sealant is then applied and allowed to set hard by shining an high intensity light onto it.
How long do they last?
Sealants usually last for five years or more , but we will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes we need to add or replace some sealant to be sure that no decay can start underneath them.
How do they work?
The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier, by covering all the little grooves andcreviceson the surfaces of the back teeth. Dental decay easily starts in these grooves if not sealed.
When should this be done? Sealants are often applied as soon as the permanent teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear which can be any time between 11 and 14 years of age.
Cavities used to be a way of life. But during the past few decades, tooth decay has been reduced dramatically.
key reason has been fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources including the oceans.Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay is visible.
Useful Tips for Fluoride Use in Children
1. Monitor the use of all fluoride-containing dental products by children younger than 6 years because ingestion of higher-than-recommended levels of fluoride by children has been associated with an increased risk of very mild to mild permanent discolouration in developing, unerupted teeth.
2. Place only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on a young child's toothbrush at each brushing.
3. Young children should be supervised while brushing and taught to spit out, rather than to swallow the toothpaste.
4. Consult with your child's dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before the child reaches 2 years of age.
5. The use of fluoride mouthrinses is not recommended for children younger than 6 years because they may swallow the rinse.
Silver Diamine Fluoride or SDF is a safe, painless alternative to traditional cavity drilling procedures and prevents cavities from forming, growing, or spreading to other teeth. SDF will instantly arrest decay & remove all sensitivity. No further filling is required after SDF application. However, if food lodgment is a matter of concern, a specific filling material like glass ionomer cement can be placed over the SDF treated part of the tooth. This is called Silver Modified Atraumatic Restorative Technique( SMART)
How does it benefit your oral hygiene?
• SDF has widely been shown to be effective to help stop cavity development after a cavity has formed, process called caries resonance.
• SDF helps kill the bacteria that break down tooth surfaces while also keeping them from spreading to other teeth.
• SDF is often suggested as a more comfortable alternative to drilling cavities. This can be helpful for children or adults who have anxiety about the dentist or may not be able to fully engage in dental procedures, such as those with special healthcare needs.
• SDF can be helpful as a cavity treatment if you’re overly sensitive to the instruments and substances used during cavity treatments.
• SDF can help keep cavities to a minimum or prevent them entirely if you feel that it’s difficult to make time for regular dental check-ups or feel uncomfortable about cavity procedures. It’s quick, requires no special equipment, and generally only needs to be done once per year.
The only common side effect of SDF noted is black staining around the area where SDF is applied.
• Schedule your child’s first visit after the first six months of age, and at least by the child's first birthday. By this time, the baby's first teeth, or primary teeth, are beginning to erupt and it is a critical time to spot any problems before they become big concerns.
• Babies who suck their thumbs may be setting the stage for malformed teeth and bite relationships.
• "Baby Bottle Tooth Decay," is a serious issue which is caused by sugary substances in bottle feeders and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby's mouth. This can lead to premature decay of your baby's future primary teeth, which can later hamper the proper formation of permanent teeth.
• One of the best ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay is to not allow your baby to nurse on a bottle while going to sleep. Avoid dipping pacifiers in sweet substances such as honey, because this only encourages early decay in the baby's mouth. Encouraging your young child to drink from a cup as early as possible will also help stave off the problems associated with baby bottle tooth decay.
Teething, Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking
Teething is a sign that your child's teeth are erupting causing his gums to be sore, making the child irritable. This is perfectly normal. You can help relieve this by allowing the baby to suck on a teething ring, or gently rubbing your baby's gums with the back of a small spoon, a piece of wet gauze, or even your finger. For babies under the age of 4, teething rings and pacifiers can be safely used to facilitate the child's oral needs for relieving gum pain and for suckling. After the age of 4, pacifiers are generally discouraged because they may interfere with the development of your child's teeth. Moreover, thumb-sucking should be strongly discouraged because it can lead to malformed teeth that become crooked and crowded.
Babies' gums and teeth can be gently cleaned with special infant toothbrushes that fit over your finger. Water is suitable in lieu of toothpaste (because the baby may swallow the toothpaste). Parents are advised to avoid fluoride toothpastes on children under the age of 2. Primary teeth can be cleansed with child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrushes. Remember to use small portions of toothpaste (a pea-sized portion is suitable), and teach your child to spit out, not swallow, the toothpaste when finished.
Primary and Permanent Teeth
Every child grows 20 primary teeth, usually by the age of 3. These teeth are gradually replaced by the age of 12 or so with a full set of 28 permanent teeth, and later on, four molars called "wisdom teeth." It is essential that a child's primary teeth are healthy, because their development sets the stage for permanent teeth. If primary teeth become diseased or do not grow in properly, chances are greater that their permanent replacements will suffer the same fate. For example, poorly formed primary teeth that don't erupt properly could crowd out spaces reserved for other teeth. Space Maintainers can sometimes be used to correct this condition, if it is spotted early enough.
Toothache can be common in young children. Sometimes, toothaches are caused by erupting teeth, but they also could indicate a serious problem. You can safely relieve a small child's toothache without the aid of medication by rinsing the mouth with a solution of warm water and table salt. If the pain doesn't subside, acetaminophen may be used. If such medications don't help, contact your dentist immediately.