One of the most important stages in the development of infants and children is the growth of their teeth. The first baby teeth, or milk teeth, play a very important role in terms of speech, eating and beauty. Therefore, like permanent teeth, maintenance and health of milk teeth is also very important. On the other hand, if the tooth decay is not treated on time, the child’s general health will also be at risk. Milk teeth also provide space for regular, permanent tooth growth. First dentist appointment is very important for the baby. In order for the child to have a pleasant mentality and memory of the dentist, and this memory be without anxiety or worry, the first dental visit must be before any toothache occurs. Otherwise, the child may even be afraid of going to the dentist for life.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 19 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 have oral and dental conditions that have not been treated. Pediatric dentistry is one of the specialized disciplines of dental science. The primary focus of your child’s dentist is on prevention and treatment, which will provide parents with the best training on how to deal with dental problems.
Among the services provided by a pediatric dentist are:
- Early examination to prevent tooth decay
- Filling of decayed teeth
- In case of premature loss of milk teeth, the construction of a “preservative space” used to prevent filling the gap between the teeth, so that permanent teeth can be properly replaced.
- Tooth whitening and use of fluoride to strengthen teeth
- Preventive Orthodontics Services
Prevention of dental caries in children
As mentioned, the child’s first appointment with a dentist should be done before any toothache or discomfort and to prevent tooth decay. According to the recommendations of the American Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a child’s appointment with a dentist should be performed every six months after the first tooth growth or one year after birth. It is because with regular screening and diagnosis in the early stages of dental disease, dental caries can be remedied at an early stage.
Age Suitable for Beginning Oral Health Care for a Child:
Ideally, even before a baby’s tooth growth, baby’s mouth should be cleaned with wipes once a day. This prevents the growth of germs that cause tooth decay on tooth surfaces. Brush them with a soft toothbrush as soon as the baby’s first teeth come out. Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). In children under two years of age, use only one toothpaste (about the size of rice grain). For children two to five years of age, use a small amount of toothpaste (the size of a pea). Getting to know the toothbrush early for the baby will encourage the use of toothbrush later in life.
Fisher Sealant (Fissure sealant)
If you look closely at your child’s molar teeth, you will find numerous fine grooves. Although these grooves make chewing and grinding food more effective, the disadvantage is that even with the best brushing technique, toothbrush hairs are not able to reach the depths of the tooth. This causes the food in the grooves to be broken down by the microbes in the mouth and the acid from this decomposition can damage the tooth structure. Repeating this cycle of acid production will cause tooth decay and cavity formation. So, there is a way to close these grooves, especially immediately after a complete tooth growth called “fissure sealant”.
In this procedure, which requires no anesthesia, the dentist places a material with the same color as the tooth on its deep grooves after cleaning and rinsing the teeth in several steps. This will reduce the depth of grooves on the masticatory surfaces of the tooth and make it easier to access toothbrush hairs.
Fluoride is a natural element that can prevent from 50 to 70 percent of tooth decay. However, too little or too much fluoride can be harmful to the teeth. Without fluoride or in small quantities, the teeth are not resistant to decay. On the other hand, excessive fluoride ingestion by children can lead to dental fluorosis, which usually causes white plaster (and in advanced cases brown) stains on permanent teeth.
The simplest form of fluoride prescription for children is fluoride varnish, which the dentist puts fluoride on a child’s teeth after brushing their teeth with a disposable brush. Another method is to administer fluoride with the help of a device called a Tray. In this way, the dentist puts a fluoride-containing gel or foam-like compound into the baby’s mouth for specific periods of time.
It is appropriate for parents to apply for an initial visit to their child’s dentist immediately after the first tooth growth or at one year of age.