Primary Teeth Eruption:
The primary teeth or “baby teeth” generally erupt through six mounths after birth. Firstly, two lower and two upper teeth erupt. When the baby is 3 years old, a full set of 20 primary teeth are completed.
Functions of Primary Teeth:
The major functions of primary teeth are;
- Eating and nutrition
- Speech production and development
- Straighter smiles
- Self confidence
- Place holder for permanent teeth
Because all of these, primary teeth should be kept clean and healthy so that a child can remain free of cavities and oral pain. Infection from decayed primary teeth can damage permanent teeth developing under them.
After each feeding you should wipe your child’s gums with a clean gauze pad or a wet washcloth. When the first primary tooth comes, you can begin brushing your child’s teeth with a little water. After 2 years old, you can brushing your child’s teeth with only a pea-sized amount of floride toothpaste. Children should be taught to spit out remaining toothpaste and rinse with water after brushing.
Early Childhood Caries (ECC):
The disease of “early childhood caries” or “baby bottle caries” is the presence of 1 or more decayed, missing or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child 71 mounths of age or younger than 3 years of age. it’s a very common bacterial infection.
Couses of early childhood caries:
ECC is most often occurs in the upper front teeth. There are many factors which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar.
Frequent bottle feeding at night, and expended and repetitive use of no spill training cup are associated with ECC.
Preventing early childhood caries:
- Place only formula, milk or breastmilk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.
- Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed.
- If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
- When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water. Be sure to consult with your child’s dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before age 3.
- Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste from the ages of 2 to 6.
- Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before he or she is 6 or 7.
- Encourage healthy eating habits.
Pit and Fissure Sealant:
The top surfaces of your teeth – where the chewing takes place – aren’t smooth and flat. They are cris-crossed with tiny hills and valleys – called pits and fissures. These are places where plaque can build up safe from your toothbrush and dental floss. Some of the pits and fissures are so narrow that even a single bristle from your toothbrush can’t get deep enough to clean them out.
One method of preventing cavities from developing in the pits and fissures is to seal them off with a special varnish called a pit and fissure sealant.
Fluoride is a natural element that can be found in many things, like the water we drink and the food we eat. Decades ago, scientists began to notice that children who lived in places where fluoride occurred naturally in the water, had fewer dental cavities.
Fluoride that is absorbed by your body is used by the cells that build your teeth to make stronger enamel.
Flouride is applied to the outside of the enamel, makes the crystals that form enamel more durable. Tooth enamel crystals that have fluoride are much more resistant to acid. They are less likely to breakdown and cause the tooth surface to become porous.
The fluoride help make the crystals in tooth enamel stronger. Always use a toothpaste with fluoride.
Space maintainers are usually fitted in children when they have lost primary teeth early because of caries or injury. The space left from losing this tooth needs to be held open for the permanent tooth to erupt in the correct position.