Children And Newborns
Nothing makes parents happier than seeing their children smile without their teeth.
Your baby, on the other hand, has 20 teeth that have yet to sprout in his or her jaws. These baby teeth break through the gums around the age of six months, helping to set the tone for future smiles by maintaining jaw space for adult teeth.
If you see something strange in your child’s mouth, the IDA recommends taking them to their first dental appointment as soon as your paediatrician allows it.
Newborns’ Special Concerns
Holding a newborn baby is the most happy moment in a couple’s life. This newfound delight comes with newfound parental responsibilities. Parents are worried about their children’s health, and their children’s dental health is a vital part of their overall health.
Even if a newborn looks to be toothless, IDA advises that you take him or her to the dentist as soon as the paediatrician permits. In newborns, there are a few dental malformations to be aware of.
The following are some of the issues that are unique to babies:
A condition in which one or both lips are missing is known as cleft lip/cleft palate.
Cleft lip is a facial and oral birth defect in which the upper lips do not close and remain split after birth. The phrase “cleft palate” refers to identical fissures in the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip and palate can occur separately or jointly in the same kid during the development of the foetus. It could be linked to a mix of inherited factors and mother exposure to the environment during pregnancy.
In addition to altering the appearance of the face, cleft lip and palate can result in a variety of issues, including:
- Difficulty eating
- Speech difficulties
- Ear infections
- Teeth that are misaligned
Cleft lip and palate can be fixed between the ages of three and six months with surgery. The severity of the problem determines the number of operations required. Despite the fact that minor clefting of the palate may go undiagnosed at first, these birth defects are discovered at the time of delivery.
If a cleft is discovered, the IDA advises that you see your doctor and dentist for a physical examination and further information on treatment options. Infants with cleft lip and palate should be fed using a Pigeon system bottle to encourage vigorous feeding. The baby, on the other hand, will have to suck a little harder. A one-way valve in the Pigeon system bottle prevents milk from returning to the bottle after it has been swallowed through.
It is still possible to breastfeed, but you should get assistance from a lactation educator first.
Those who have a child with a cleft lip or palate are more likely to have another child with the defect. Genetic counselling or testing may reveal the answers.
It is advised that you avoid alcohol and drugs during your pregnancy. Folic acid supplements, on the other hand, can help if used regularly before conception and during the first few months of pregnancy.
A cleft lip and palate can be repaired via surgical treatments. A cleft lip usually necessitates one or two operations, depending on the severity of the illness. The first operation is normally performed by the time a baby is three months old.
Cleft palate, on the other hand, demands numerous surgeries over the course of 18 years. The first operation is performed when the baby is between 6 months and a year old. This surgery helps to create a functional palate, which reduces the risk of fluid buildup in the middle ear. It also aids in the correct development of the teeth and facial bones.
In some cases, children with cleft palates may require a bone graft to fill in the upper gum line. When a youngster is around 8 years old, bone grafting is performed to support permanent teeth and aid in the stabilisation of the upper jaw. Around 20% of children with a cleft palate require extra surgery to help them communicate better. After the permanent teeth have emerged, braces are commonly required to correct teeth.
Many operations are regularly recommended and performed to improve the overall appearance of the lip and nose. Closing the space between the patient’s mouth and nose, improving breathing, and stabilising and realigning the jaw are all possible surgical options. The scars left by the initial surgery are only operated on after adolescence, when the face structure has fully formed.
Concerns That Are Specific To Children
Nothing is more contagious than a young child’s laughter, no matter what they’re laughing at. Starting with the “Terrible Twos,” this is the age group that parents find the most challenging to manage. This is the time when a child’s identity is developed in relation to its environment and peers. Parents must be especially cautious because good and bad habits are most easily picked up in this age range.
Teething is also at this period, which is a nightmare for most parents. When a child learns to walk, falls, and then re-learns to walk. It’s time to go to playschool and start learning how to communicate. This age group is responsible for all of these key first-time experiences.
When a child loses a tooth too soon, the permanent teeth may press into the empty space, inhibiting the eruption of other adult teeth. Crooked or crowded teeth are the result of this. Because infants are always at risk of tooth decay, they should practise better oral hygiene in the future to protect their teeth. According to the IDA, parents should take their children to the dentist after their first birthday and at regular intervals thereafter.
The Initial Stroke
Your child is at danger for tooth decay when he or she is about six months old. The decay that occurs in infants and toddlers’ top front teeth is referred to as ‘Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.’ However, there’s a chance that other teeth will be harmed as well. In fact, dental rot is so bad in infants and toddlers that their teeth cannot be saved and must be extracted.
The good news is that tooth decay can usually be avoided. Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of three, and their jaws expand as they develop, making place for additional teeth.
Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth
It’s critical to clean your baby’s mouth in the first few days following delivery. To do so, use a clean washcloth or a damp gauze pad to wipe the gums. Tooth decay can strike at any time during the development of the teeth. Brush your child’s teeth with water and a child-size toothbrush. Your child’s first four front teeth usually arrive around the age of six months. The first tooth may not appear for another 12 to 14 months in some cases.
Use a pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste to brush the teeth of children over the age of two. Make sure they spit out the toothpaste. (Consult your child’s dentist or physician if you plan to use fluoride toothpaste before he or she turns two.) According to the IDA, brush your child’s teeth twice a day using a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste until you’re sure he or she can brush on his or her own. When your child’s teeth come into touch with each other, you should begin flossing them. Make an appointment with your dentist now to learn how to properly brush your baby’s teeth.
If your children are over the age of two, brush their teeth using a pea-sized amount of flouride-based toothpaste. If your child is under the age of two, you should get advice from his or her dentist on the appropriate toothpaste for him or her. According to the IDA, brush your child’s teeth until he or she is confident brushing them on his or her own.
Because teeth do not appear until around six months after birth, most babies are born with no visible teeth. Throughout the first few years, all 20 baby teeth will eventually push through the gums, and by the age of three, most children will have their whole set of teeth. The front teeth normally appear within the first six months, however in certain cases it may take up to 14 months. Babies may become restless, irritable, and sleepless during this stage, as well as lose their meals or drool excessively.
Mild fever, diarrhoea, and rashes, on the other hand, are not signs of teething. If your kid develops diarrhoea or a fever, seek medical help as soon as possible. Your child’s gums may be sore or irritated as his or her first teeth emerge. To soothe your child’s gums, gently rub them with a clean finger, a cool spoon, or a damp gauze pad. You can also acquire a clean teething ring for your child to chew on. Your dentist or paediatrician may also recommend a pacifier.
The IDA urges parents to seek medical advice before purchasing benzocaine products for their children under the age of two because they are not suitable for children under the age of two. After the first tooth forms, parents should take their child to the dentist for an initial checkup, but only after the child has reached the age of one year.
Pacifiers: Because babies’ sucking reflexes are so strong, most parents use pacifiers to keep their kids comfortable while also allowing themselves a break from constant parenting. Pacifiers provide a lot of benefits, which is why they’re commonly advised to new mothers.
Benefits of using pacifiers:
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) prevention: SIDS, also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a devastating health condition that affects infants. Pacifiers can assist your infant in getting a good night’s sleep. However, putting the pacifier back in the baby’s mouth after he or she has fallen asleep is not recommended.
Pacifiers are commonly used to calm down a fussy baby. As a result, parents should always have a pacifier on available to comfort their crying or colicky baby.
Suck Reflex: Pacifiers help to satisfy the suck reflex. The baby is not allowed to lick his or her own thumb.
Is using a pacifier really necessary?
Increases Ear Infections: A research published in the journal Pediatrics found that pacifiers can increase ear infections by 40%. Excessive pacifier sucking, according to the article, can lead to Acute Otitis Media (AOM).
A infant may become confused between the mother’s nipple and a pacifier if pacifiers are given too early and too frequently.
Likewise, parents may misread a baby’s need for a pacifier when the baby truly need nutrition-based sucking for food.
Developing Tooth and Speaking Conditions: Sucking pacifiers on a regular basis may cause tooth alignment issues and speech delays.
Because pacifiers dipped in honey, sugar, juice, or sweetened drinks may induce tooth decay, the IDA warns against using them. Cavity-causing bacteria can also spread from the mother’s or caregiver’s saliva to the infant’s mouth, resulting in tooth decay. If you’re not sure whether or not you should use a pacifier, talk to your dentist.
Concerns Unique To Children’s Space Maintainers
In some circumstances, your child’s baby teeth will fall out before the permanent tooth arrives. The goal of space maintainers is to “make space” for the permanent teeth that will erupt later. Space maintainers are made of stainless steel and are designed to allow enough space for the permanent tooth to erupt. Because there may not be enough space for all of the permanent teeth to emerge at the same space, space maintainers are utilised to fill in the gaps left by the missing tooth. On either side of the mouth’s teeth, removable space maintainers can be glued.
Space maintainers can be classified into three categories:
The stainless steel band and loop maintainer is kept in place by a crown on the tooth adjacent to the empty space. A wire loop is linked to the band or crown, which stands out and keeps space in the area where the lost tooth was and where the permanent tooth will erupt in the future.
Low wire space maintainers, also known as lingual arch, are used when teeth toward the back of the mouth, particularly in the lower jaw, are missing.
A distal shoe appliance is used to retain the space when a child loses a baby tooth just in front of a molar tooth that hasn’t fully formed. The space maintainer is used to insert the gum.
In certain cases, dentists may have difficulties putting space maintainers because children, especially those with respiratory problems or those who are very young, may refuse to cooperate during the process. The installation of the space maintainers is crucial since they can break or be put incorrectly, resulting in extra difficulties.
Cavities can lead to a range of dental problems, especially in children, thus parents must instil good oral hygiene habits in their children from an early age. Fissure sealants are a superior technique to protect your child’s teeth against cavities since they act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. On occasion, the sealant is applied to the tooth’s chewing surface as well as deeper pits and grooves. The treatment is painless and straightforward. The sealant functions as a barrier, preventing the surface of the tooth from deteriorating. Brushing is difficult since several of the teeth at the back of the mouth have large fissures. Tooth decay is caused by food particles and microorganisms becoming stuck in the gaps. Fissure sealants fill in the cracks and fissures in your teeth, preventing food particles and bacteria from accumulating and causing tooth decay. Fissure sealants are non-invasive and can be used over and over again.
Fissure Sealant Application Methodology
It’s vital to evaluate the fissures before applying the sealant. After that, the dental professional cleans the tooth surface before applying a specific solution to it. Without the need for injections or drillings, the coating is applied in a systematic manner, making the entire sealing procedure painless.
When Would It Be Appropriate to Do It?
By the time a child reaches the age of six, his or her permanent back molars are normally cemented. As a result, new molars are sealed as they emerge, lowering the risk of tooth decay.
Is there a need for more attention?
Fissure sealants don’t require any particular care, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush and floss your teeth regularly. Brushing teeth with a fluoride-based toothpaste and a good toothbrush should be done on a regular basis. According to the IDA, you should visit your dentist on a frequent basis to keep track of any other permanent teeth that need to be treated.
Emergency Dental Care
Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and you may not be able to predict when they will occur, but if you respond promptly, you can almost always save your child’s teeth. It is essential that you take your child to the dentist soon away if he or she requires a dental checkup or treatment.
Tongue or Lip Bitten
Bitten lips or tongue can cause further bleeding, so gently rinse them with water and apply a cold compress, such as a cool wet towel, to the affected area.
Dental floss is frequently prescribed to remove anything caught between the teeth. Avoid using metal, plastic, or sharp tools to clean away food particles.
If your child’s tooth has been knocked out, you should see a dentist very once. You must identify the knocked-out tooth and properly rinse it with water if you can (no soap water). Try re-inserting the tooth into the socket and holding it in place with a clean towel/gauze within 15- 20 minutes, then contact your dentist.
A loose tooth necessitates immediate medical attention, so schedule an appointment with a dentist before your child swallows it.
Toothache is a common complaint among teenagers, with many of them experiencing dental pain. The first step is to clean your mouth with warm water and look for anything lodged between your teeth. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain. Give your child no topical pain medicines because they may hurt their gums. At the dentist, have your tooth examined.
Broken jaws should be treated with considerable caution, and a dentist should evaluate your child’s broken jaw. Start with a cold compress to reduce edoema. It is the result of a potentially deadly brain damage in the great majority of instances.
Milk Bottle Syndrome
Milk bottle syndrome, also known as Baby Bottle Tooth Erode, Baby Bottle Syndrome, or Early Childhood Caries, is a condition in which an infant’s baby teeth decay rapidly as a result of consuming a sugary beverage. Sugary drinks typically contact the upper front teeth, causing decay. The majority of the time, parents are told that their child is too young to receive effective therapy and that they should wait till he or she is older. All of this is inaccurate, and you should make sure that your child has baby teeth, which are required for chewing food and maintaining a healthy smile.
Tooth decay is a significant issue that requires immediate attention. While being fed by bottle or breast, most babies fall asleep. The sugary liquid lingers around the front teeth. Sugars are turned to acid in the mouth by bacteria, causing tooth decay. High-sugar fluids can be found in bottles of baby formula, milk, or juice, a pacifier dipped in honey, or breast milk.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Milk Bottle Syndrome?
- Make sure your child brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day.
- Never put a bottle of milk, juice, or infant formula in your child’s mouth while he or she is sleeping.
- Allowing your youngster to drink too much milk or juice from a bottle is not a good idea.
- Give your youngster simply water when he or she is thirsty.
Make sure your child gets enough flouride to maintain his or her teeth healthy.
Seek advice from your dentist and visit the dentist on a regular basis.
Flouride is found in many types of water, including seas, rivers, and lakes. It’s also found in city water, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Tooth decay may be an issue for many toddlers and infants who don’t get enough flouride, which helps to strengthen and repair weak tooth enamel. As a result, because bottled water does not contain flouride, children who drink it may not get enough. Contact your local and state health officials, as well as your water supplier, to check that your community tap water includes flouride.
The IDA suggests that you talk to your child’s dentist about his or her flouride needs. Your dentist may recommend a flouride supplement if the community tap water is not flouridated. Excess flouridation, on the other hand, can be harmful and cause flourosis. Ask your dentist for the correct facts rather than being misled by marketing.
Enamel flourosis is a disorder that impairs your teeth’s look. It is frequently misinterpreted as a disease. Enamel flourosis commonly appears as barely visible weak white streaks or lines on the enamel, with minimal impact on tooth function. In other cases, the effect is so subtle that it can only be detected by a dentist during an examination. It occurs while teeth are forming beneath the gum line. Once they have burst through the gums, they are unable to produce enamel flourosis.
What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk of Enamel Flourosis?
Enamel flourosis can be avoided by preventing children from using flouride-containing products like toothpaste. If their children are under the age of three, parents should brush their children’s teeth with a small bit of flouride toothpaste. Brush your teeth twice a day, or as prescribed by your dentist. Adults should also supervise the amount of toothpaste used by adolescents to ensure that they are not using too much flouride toothpaste. This will also prevent children from swallowing toothpaste while brushing their teeth.
Recent research also suggests that using flouridated water to re-constitute infant formula on occasion has no effect on the risk of enamel flourosis. Drinking flouridated water can help prevent tooth decay in children and adults, but in a rare number of cases, it can also induce enamel flourosis.
According to the IDA, you should inspect your child’s mouth on a regular basis and consult a dentist if you find anything strange. Because prevention is the best policy, early detection can assist your child in receiving the finest therapy possible as soon as practical.