Who is a Paediatric Dentist (Pedodontist)?
Pedodontics means dentistry for infants, children and adolescents. Pedodontist is a dentist who takes part in solving the oral and dental health problems of infants, children and adolescents (0-18 years), and has received specialised training in order to perform clinical and radiographic examination, aesthetic, endodontic and prosthetic treatment and preventive dentistry applications related to oral and dental health.
When should I first visit a paediatric dentist?
The first visit to the dentist should be made after the eruption of the first milk tooth. The first milk teeth usually erupt between the ages of 6 months and 1 year. The aim of the first examination by the paediatric dentist is to give suggestions about your child’s oral health and nutrition and to maintain oral and dental health with visits every 6 months.
What are the symptoms of teething in babies?
The first deciduous tooth usually erupts between the ages of 6 months and 1 year and 20 deciduous teeth are completed at approximately 2.5 to 3 years of age. While milk teeth are erupting, your baby may have increased saliva flow, redness and rashes on the cheeks, tearing, red eyes, scratching the gums by hand and biting everything / taking it to the mouth, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhoea and sleep disorders. The gums are red and swollen in the areas where the teeth will erupt. To comfort your baby during these periods, you can massage your baby’s gums after washing your hands, you can give plastic teethers by keeping them in the refrigerator. You can give painkillers and antipyretic syrups in consultation with your dentist or doctor.
When should teeth be brushed?
With the appearance of the teeth in the oral environment, cleaning should be started with moist gauze cloths (moist cheesecloth) or finger brushes after feeding and water should be given to remove milk and formula residues, especially after night feeding. In order for the child to acquire the habit of brushing, he/she should be allowed to use a toothbrush, but then the family should brush again to clean the places he/she cannot reach.
Until the age of 3, toothpaste should be used in very small amounts in the form of a swab, as children’s spitting functions are not fully formed. Children’s toothbrushes and children’s toothpastes should be preferred. In children aged 3-6 years, children’s toothpaste can be used as much as a pea grain. After the age of 6, your child can start using adult toothpaste.
Figure: Application of toothpaste as a swab (left) and as a pea (right) (AAPD Guideline on Flouride Therapy, 2014)
Teeth should be brushed after every meal and especially before going to bed at night.
To motivate your child, you can brush your teeth together in front of the mirror in the morning and in the evening.
What is bottle caries (early childhood caries – ECC)?
Early childhood caries is defined as the loss and/or filling of one or more of the decayed or decayed deciduous teeth of children aged 71 months or younger. It is usually seen in babies who are bottle-fed at night for a long time.
In order to prevent early childhood caries, you should prevent your baby’s habit of sleeping with a bottle at night, make sure that he/she drinks water after night feeding and try to put him/her to sleep after the feeding is over. You should never add sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses to the milk in the bottle. After feeding your baby, you should definitely clean his/her teeth with a damp cheesecloth or gauze.
What is fluorine application, is fluorine harmful?
Fluorine is a natural mineral. It can be applied every 3 or 6 months depending on the caries risk status of the person to reduce dental caries. It is known that very high doses of fluorine can have toxic effects if it enters the systemic circulation, but it has been proven in many studies in the literature that the doses applied in dentistry do not have any harmful effects on the person, on the contrary, it prevents the formation of caries in the teeth and the progression of existing caries. There are many methods of fluoride application (toothpaste, mouthwash, gel, varnish). When choosing which fluorine to apply, the child’s age and caries risk status are taken into consideration.
Uzm. Dt. Cansu Uzun Önalan