A pediatric dentist is a kids’ dentist. Pediatric dentistry deals with all dental issues in children from primary teeth to permanent teeth in babies, toddlers, children, and adolescents – literally from the time a baby gets teeth till adulthood. In fact, delayed onset of teething in babies is a reason for concern and needs consultation with a kids’ dentist.
What are teeth?
Teeth are made of enamel and dentine. These are hard substances which do not erode easily. They help in biting, mincing, chewing or tearing food and to speak properly. They define the structure of the face and enhance facial features. Teeth are an important aspect of social perceptions when it comes to appearances and tend to define a person’s attractiveness.
What is oral hygiene and why is it important in toddlers?
Oral hygiene means cleanliness in all parts of the mouth, like cheeks, teeth, and tongue. Whether it is a baby or a grown up, oral hygiene is very critical. Remnants of milk, semi-solids or solid food in the mouth can start decaying causing harmful bacterial infections along with bad breath and infections in the mouth, gums, teeth, and stomach.
What is the right age to start brushing?
Oral hygiene should start as early as possible – from infancy itself and before the onset of teeth. This will ensure a regimen of hygiene in the future. An unhygienic mouth is more susceptible to oral diseases which in turn could cause serious issues including dental deformities.
What are the stages of teeth development?
Every human being has two sets of teeth. One set starts developing from birth and erupts around six months of age. These start with eight biting teeth known as incisors. Next to develop are canine teeth; one on each side of both jaws. Then, premolars develop; four on each side of jaws. These are temporary teeth which remain till age six. From age six, temporary teeth start falling to be replaced by permanent teeth. This process continues till age 13.
7 kids’ oral health tips for first-time parents
- Do not allow the baby to sleep with a bottle or pacifier
- After breastfeeding, clean the baby’s teeth by wiping them with a soft cloth
- As babies move to formula and other foods, ensure they do not have flavored foods or foods with added sugars
- It is a good option to take the toddler to a pediatric dentist consultation as early as age two. This will alert the pediatric dentist on future and foreseeable problems like distortion due to thumb /finger sucking.
- First-time parents should ensure a good toothbrush for their toddler and inculcate a hygienic and healthy routine.
- Use very small amounts of low-fluoride toothpaste. It is better to encourage your child to spit out the paste after brushing
- Cavities are caused by bacteria. Parents believe that baby teeth cannot have cavities or that cavities in baby teeth do not matter. This is dangerous as early cavities affect permanent teeth
How can a pediatric dentist help?
As part of a regular dental check-up, pediatric dentists make sure all teeth are developing normally and there are no dental problems like cavities. They give you further advice on proper oral hygiene. Pediatric dentists ensure a child’s primary teeth stay healthy, decay-free and disease-free.
What are the most prevalent and common dental issues?
Symptoms of dental problems in children
- Gingivitis or bleeding, red or swollen gums- typically seen as bloodstains on foods eaten or while gargling
- Pus secretion from gums- Gives rise to bad smell
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Abscesses- are pockets of pus in the gum or root of tooth. Pus is secreted in the infected area.
- Difficulty talking or swallowing: these might be very innocuous, but are sure signs
- Unexplained high fever with no telltale signs of infections
At the first sign of any of these, contact a kids’ dentist.
Dental problems in children aged 6-13
- Temporary teeth erupt at age 6 months onwards- the mouth of baby is small but growing and developing. Permanent teeth which erupt after age 6 can be of a larger size and cause overcrowding of teeth or misshaped teeth.
- Tooth decay can be caused by bad food habits or lack of oral hygiene
- Grinding teeth normally disappears with age but may cause headaches, toothaches or jaw pain. A pediatric dentist will provide night guards to avoid grinding and eroding of teeth
- Thumb sucking is a normal habit with most children and distortion of gum gets evened out very early. In excessive cases, the twist or bend caused may need dental intervention
- Injuries, broken teeth, chipped teeth, and gum problems are very common in school-going kids. These have to be addressed on priority to avoid complications later on.
Today there are many options to have the perfect set of teeth, the best smile and perfect mouth contours, especially from age 13 onwards- because that is the right age for dental corrections like braces.
How do I know about kids’ dentist near me?
Apollo Dental White is the dentistry branch of Apollo Hospitals group. On board are expert pediatric dentists as well as specialists in every branch and field of Oral and Dental Care. We have dental clinics in different locations. For queries, contact, 18001-02-02-88.