1 – Are milk teeth essential?
Yes, however there is a belief that since milk teeth are temporary, they are of little importance so it is useless to try to save them. This is a myth that is needed to be changed as milk teeth are essential as they aid the child to speak clearly, chew and guide permanent teeth into the correct position while allowing the jaw, bones and muscles to develop normally.
2 – Will habits like Thumb sucking affect My Baby’s Teeth?
Yes, it may but it depends on the intensity, a child sucks on his/her thumb. If thumb sucking continues beyond the eruption of permanent teeth, the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment may get affected. Therefore it is utterly important to make children stop sucking thumbs before the appearance of the permanent teeth.
3 – Is it alright if I brush my baby’s teeth?
Yes. For brushing your baby’s teeth use a small toothbrush with soft bristles but avoid toothpaste, instead use a small amount of water . Brushing at bedtime, definitely will remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth. Now toothbrush specially made for babies are available in the market.
4 – When should I introduce toothpaste to my child?
By the age of two your child should be ready for toothpaste containing fluoride. However, you have to make sure that only a small amount of toothpaste is used and excess toothpaste is spitted out instead of swallowing it.
5 – When should I have my child’s first dental appointment?
You should have your child’s first dental appointment as soon as the first tooth appears. This should occur before the child’s first birthday as milk teeth and permanent teeth show up at pretty well-defined times.
6 – How should I make children not fear dentists?
The fear for dentists can be minimized by making the child’s dental experience more informative and interactive. It is also equally important to make the child feel at ease by explaining the procedures step by step at a phase that the child can grasp what is happening.
7 – How often should my child have a dental check-up?
Children need to see their dentist at a regular basis for cleaning and checkup, preferably every six months. If the child requires more frequent visits, your dentist will decide on that.
8 – How do I guide my child to brush his teeth properly?
From the age of 5 to 9 children should be brushing their teeth on their own but under supervision. Since proper brushing get ris of plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of teeth, it is extremely important to teach the children to brush properly. When guiding the child to brush, place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, commence along gum line with a soft bristled toothbrush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surface of each tooth, upper and lower. Follow the same procedure on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all teeth. Make sure, the child finishes by brushing the tong to freshen up his breath and eliminate bacteria.
9 – How can I prevent cavities from my baby’s teeth?
To prevent cavities, all your child requires is good oral hygiene as it removes bacteria and accumulated food particles which combine to form cavities. As your child’s oral hygiene routine, if it is an infant, use a wet gauze or clean cloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums. Moreover, avoid putting your child to bed with anything but water as it may lead to “baby bottle tooth decay”. This form of decay occurs due to long exposure of an infant’s teeth to sugar containing liquids such as milk (including breast milk), fruit juices and other sweetened drinks.
10 – How do sealants protect children’s teeth?
A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material which acts as barrier to food, plaque and acid, hence protecting the decay prone areas of the teeth. Sealant is smeared to the chewing surfaces of the permanent back teeth (premolars and molars) where four out of five cavities in children are found.
11 – What should I do if my child has Toothache?
First of all clean the area of affected tooth thoroughly. Then make the child rinse his mouth vigorously warm water or use a dental floss to remove impacted food or debris. If the pain is persists, contact your Smiles dentist. Never apply aspirin on the gum or aching tooth. If the child’s face is swollen apply compresses and contact your dentist immediately.
12 – What should I do if my Child’s Tooth is Accidently Knocked out?
In such case, first step should be to find the tooth. Hold the tooth by the crown, not the root portion. You may rinse the tooth but DO NOT clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Check the tooth for fractures. If it is in good condition and the child is old enough, try to reinsert it in the socket. Have the child hold the tooth in place by biting down upon some gauze. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, transport the tooth in a cup containing the patient’s saliva or milk. In such situation the child must see a dentist immediately as time is critical factor in saving the tooth.