Ensure that your child brushes their teeth with a soft toothbrush twice daily (during morning and night) until they turn 2 years.
You can take your child for the dental check-up once the first milk tooth has erupted in their mouth.
Pediatric dentists who are specifically trained to treat your child’s teeth. They are the “Pediatricians of Dentistry” whereas family dentists are general dentists who focus on a wide range of dental services provided to their clients of all ages.
Baby teeth do not only help you in chewing food, talking and jaw development but also maintain space in the jaws for the permanent teeth which are growing under your child’s gums. Premature loss of a milk tooth can cause other teeth to move into the space created leaving no place for the permanent tooth to come out.
A toothache may cause severe emotional distress to your child. Pacify your child with cold ice pack placed on cheek, try keeping the offending tooth area clean. Over the counter, painkillers can be given with the physician’s consent and schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Thumb sucking or pacifier use will not cause any harm to teeth unless it continues beyond the age of 5. After the age of 5, try to curb the habit as it can adversely affect erupting permanent teeth, which resulted in malalignment. If it continues, consult your dentist for habit-breaking appliance.
Severe teeth decay occurs if your child is allowed to feed during sleep. Any sweetened liquid in your child’s mouth (milk, juice etc.) will pool in around the teeth instead of being swallowed. The bacteria in the mouth feed on these sugary substances cause acid build-up which eats up the tooth enamel. Wipe off your child’s teeth and give your child a small amount of water to drink after nursing.
By 2 years of age, a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste can be used. Make sure your child is not eating or swallowing the toothpaste.
Milk and dairy products are rich in calcium which is essential for teeth development. You can use the food pyramid as a guide to healthy dietary choices. The tip of the food pyramid has high salt and sugar-containing foods which should be avoided. Incorporate food items from the bottom of the food pyramid.
The dental sealant is a thin tooth-coloured plastic material which is placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to prevent tooth decay. The depressions and grooves on the chewing surface of teeth have high chances of food particles getting stuck and are hard to clean making them susceptible to tooth decay. Dental sealants help to seal them off forming a smooth chewing tooth surface preventing food accumulation and acid formation. The appropriate time for dental sealant placement is immediately after the permanent 1st and 2nd molar teeth erupt i.e. at the ages of 6 and 12 years respectively.
Your dentist is the best person to assess this. If your child is at a high risk of developing tooth decay, your dentist may advise suitable fluoridation methods such as the use of fluoridated toothpaste, supplements. Susceptibility to developing tooth decay increases if your child consumes a lot of sugary food items and if the water in your locality does not contain the recommended fluoride content.
Helmets and mouth guards should be worn during contact sports. Mouth guards that will be customized by your dentist are a good option to protect the teeth from sports-related injuries.
If you find the lost permanent tooth, place it back in the socket by holding the crown portion of the tooth or put it in milk and take it to the dentist immediately. Chances are they may be able to reattach it. If not, your dentist will provide you with tooth replacement options.
Yes, provided your child wears radiation protective wear such as lead apron, thyroid collar. Limit the number of radiographs being taken to whenever necessary.
It is the parent’s responsibility to schedule regular dental visits and supervise the home care methods suggested by the dentist. To incorporate good oral hygiene habits, get them started at a young age. Regular oral hygiene practices and a balanced diet will help your child in maintaining good dental health.