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Children get their first baby tooth at around 6 months old. There may be a delay by 3-6 months in some cases. Your child will have all set of primary teeth by around 2-3 years of age. They will have 20 primary (baby) teeth all together.
Breastfeeding is a risk factor of dental caries. Dental caries/ decay of teeth is related to the carbohydrate content in the breast milk or the formula you are feeding your child. The frequency of feeding, the contact of milk/ formula to the erupted tooth surface, pooling of milk around the tooth surface for a longer period of time (bedtime) etc determines the severity and progression of the caries. WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends exclusive feeding for first six months and complementary feeding upto 2 years of age.
Start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as you see the baby teeth coming through your child’s gum. Use soft bristle child tooth brush with very minimal toothpaste (rice grain size).If your child does not like the taste of the paste, use water to brush. Make tooth brushing a routine in the morning and at night after dinner.
The effect of the trauma to the adult tooth from a baby tooth depends on what type of dental injury it is. If the baby tooth is pushed inside the gums (intrusion) then it may damage the adult tooth. Only radiographs can explain this.
Fluoride works topical which is present in water and tooth paste by reducing the demineralisation and enhancing remineralisation of the enamel. To minimize the risk of fluoride ingestion, we advise children under 5 years to use children’s tooth paste (500 ppm). High fluoride tooth paste will be recommended depending on the caries risk of your child. The adult tooth paste has 1000 ppm.
You can help your child brush their teeth day and night with fluoridated tooth paste (see the age appropriate dose above) and make this a routine. Introduce flossing, reduce sugary drinks, lollies, and sticky food, keep a check on the frequency of food. Visit the paediatric dentist regularly
Enamel hypomineralisation is a developmental defect of the enamel and this is due to decrease in the mineral content of the enamel. This could affect the teeth from mild to severe hypomineralisation. The mild form usually appears with discoloration and minimal sensitivity sometimes. Whereas teeth affected with severe hypomineralisation starts breaking down/ crumbles as they erupt into the mouth. In this situation, child will complaint of sensitivity, pain and avoid all cold food/drinks.
It is important for your child to visit a Dentist every year at least. This is known as the recall appointment. The frequency of visit depends on the risk of caries, severity of any dental concern, the development of your child and the compliance of them. The Dentist will advise the recall visits after assessing the dental status of your child.
You will notice your child avoiding food and may be eating to one side of the mouth. Your child will constantly cry of pain or point out the tooth that is sore. You may sometimes notice a yellow pimple like lump near that tooth or child may complaint of may be a different / salty taste in mouth. In severe cases you will notice facial swelling, redness and warmth of cheek, with fever/ high temperature. Please report to us or the hospital immediately.
We use digital x-rays at our practice. They are very safe and are of less risk. We use lead aprons to ensure safety and minimise the amount of radiation.
All the molar teeth (baby and adult back teeth) have grooves which are naturally present in the tooth. In some cases, these grooves are very deep and makes it easier for the food/ plaque to retain in these grooves causing the tooth to decay. Researchers have studied into this in depth and stated that the use of “fissure sealants” on the molars/ tooth with deep grooves reduced the risks of dental caries in mouth. Fissure sealants are preventive treatment for the teeth. Fissure sealants are flowable resin material like the white filling material (composite) that helps prevent the food retention in the grooves.