What is a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists are specially trained in MDS which is a post-graduate programme in India to handle kids from early infancy to the age proceeding up to their teenage. They are specially trained for three years to administer dental and oral health care with respect to your child s teeth.
Parents usually see the deciduous dentition (baby teeth) appearing in the oral cavity at about the age of six to seven months. The primary dentition usually exfoliates around the age of seven or eight to give way to the permanent dentition. Space maintainers can be placed by the pediatric dentists in case of early exfoliation to allow the permanent teeth to erupt in a proper direction. Comprehensive pediatric dental care for children is required for your child at this stage to prevent any caries or gum diseases.
This branch is also called preventive dentistry as the main aim of a pedodontist would also involve in preventing future dental problems such as malocclusion and a delayed eruption sequence. Early childhood caries commonly called as ECC by many pedodontists is very common in kids these days thanks to the urban lifestyle involving processed food with sugars and msg.
When should be the first dental visit of a child?
The first dental visit is important as the pediatric dentists will assess the overall health of your child’s soft and hard tissues in a dental clinic. The hard tissue refers to the milk teeth and the soft tissues will include the gums and buccal mucosa.
The dental appointment can be scheduled as soon as the first deciduous tooth appears that is at the age of six months or after your child’s first year birthday. The reason why this regimen is important because the milk teeth are more prone to dental caries &
How many milk teeth does a child have? Almost all kids have 20 milk teeth. When these precautions are taken in the early life your child can have a healthy set of teeth for the rest of his or her life. Fluoride treatments can treat children as the fluoride gel applied makes the enamel stronger by integrating calcium fluorapatite crystals in the place of calcium hydroxyapatite crystals which go a long way in preventing tooth decay!
American Academy of general dentistry and the American Academy of pediatric dentistry AAPD highly recommend the fluoride varnish application regimen at least once a year.
What are the common issues of dental health in children?
Children from infancy face a wide range of problems such as early childhood caries and gum inflammation. Nursing bottle caries is also common as the bottle-fed child’s upper teeth (maxillary teeth) especially the central incisors are exposed to the lactose in the milk which encourages decay. The lower tooth is protected from this pathology thanks to the tongue covering the mandibular incisors and canines. Cavities remove the protective enamel and can lead to infection of the pulp in the root this requiring a pulpotomy or pulpectomy.
A pedodontist or general dentists would advise diagnosis or treatment as thought in dental schools as the pediatric root canal treatment involving the complete or partial removal of the pulp to prevent the further spread of the infection & loss of the involved tooth.
Early or delayed eruption of the permanent teeth during the mixed dentition stage is also a common problem. A space maintainer can be placed by a pediatric dentist if there is early exfoliation of the milk teeth to allow the proper eruption of the adult tooth into proper occlusion to prevent any misalignment.
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