Paedodontics

Last updated date: 08-Nov-2023

Originally Written in English

Pedodontics

Overview

Because calcium in the mother's body during pregnancy allows the creation of milk teeth, the mother should ensure that she gets adequate calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals during pregnancy. If the mother does not acquire enough calcium during pregnancy, the baby gets the calcium it needs from the mother's bones. Because the baby's teeth begin to grow in the third month, the mother's avoidance of dangerous medicines as well as a balanced diet is directly proportionate to the baby's oral health during this period.

Although the first teeth vary from infant to baby, they are often seen as two teeth in the middle of the lower jaw about 6 months of age. Teeth that erupt later are more robust/resistant than teeth that erupt early because the body continues to utilise fluoride. When compared to other teeth, central teeth (central incisors) are smaller, whiter, and more spaced.

 

What is pedodontics?

pedodontics definition

Pedodontics is a dentistry specialty that focuses on the oral health of children. The pedodontist is heavily concerned with prevention, which includes training in correct food, fluoride usage, and dental hygiene practice. The pedodontist's usual practice includes affecting dental alignment as well as dealing with caries (tooth decay). To rectify early irregularities in tooth position, lengthy therapy may be necessary. Braces or other types of corrective equipment may be employed.

 

Determining the Caries Risk Group

Caries Risk Group

Various approaches are used to identify caries risk groups in children and evaluate their susceptibility to tooth decay. Rather than treating dental decay, the goal is to identify and correct the causes that produce it.

 

What is a Pedodontist?

Pedodontist Definition

A pedodontist, often known as a pediatric dentist, is a dentist who specializes in the dental care of children. In addition to their regular dental degree, they must finish extra study and experience. They will then restrict their profession to solely treating youngsters. A pedodontist often treats children between the ages of six months and thirteen years old, and will employ kid-friendly approaches to assist the child maintain good dental health from an early age.

A pedodontist will also work with the kid's parent to educate them on how to ensure their child performs correct oral hygiene routines, as well as discuss future treatment options.

For a long time, the term "pedodontist" was used to denote the dental speciality dedicated to the treatment of children. "Pedia-" or "pedo" refers to a child or children, and "-dontist" refers to someone who examines teeth. Because several people mistook "pedodontist" for "foot doctor," the most widely used word is "pediatric dentist." Pediatric dentistry is an age-defined speciality that provides preventative and therapeutic oral health care for babies, children, and adolescents, including those with unique health care requirements.

 

What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?

Pediatric Dentist Procedure

Pediatric dentists are responsible for a wide range of vital responsibilities relating to a child's general oral health and cleanliness. They lay a specific emphasis on the correct preservation and treatment of deciduous (baby) teeth, which are essential in supporting excellent chewing habits, optimal speech production, and holding room for permanent teeth.

Other important functions include:

  • Education 
    Pediatric dentists educate youngsters about the necessity of keeping teeth strong and healthy by employing models, computer technology, and child-friendly vocabulary. In addition, they advise parents on illness prevention, trauma prevention, good eating habits, and other areas of household cleanliness.

  • Monitoring Growth
    By regularly evaluating growth and development, pediatric dentists can foresee oral concerns and act immediately before they worsen. Working toward early remedial therapy also aids in the maintenance of the child's self-esteem and the promotion of a more positive self-image.

  • Prevention 
    Helping parents, as well as children, establish sound eating and oral care habits

 

Are milk teeth important?

The development of the face and jaw is influenced by 20 milk teeth, which begin to erupt during infancy and aid the child's digestion through actions such as biting, chewing, and crushing until the age of 6-7. It protects the position of permanent teeth and lays the required basis for them before they arrive. Premature loss of any milk tooth causes surrounding teeth to slip towards this cavity, resulting in mouth crowding.

 

Teeth Cleaning in Childhood

Teeth Cleaning

Children's dental and oral hygiene cannot be expected to be successful in their early years. Parents have a big responsibility here. Cleaning should begin as soon as the baby's first teeth develop in his or her mouth (6-8 months). The teeth are cleaned clean with a clean towel or gauze bandage after each meal. Starting at the age of 1-1.5, babies' teeth must be cleaned using a small-headed toothbrush with flat, soft, and nylon bristles. After the age of 2.5, a tiny quantity of toothpaste can be put on the brush. It should, however, never be swallowed.

 

Children’s bad habits negatively affect the teeth structure

teeth structure bad habit

  • Nail biting
    Nail biting is a common practice that begins around the age of two. This practice might result in lateral displacement of the front teeth and tooth wear in the direction of biting.

  • Thumb sucking
    In newborn newborns, the sucking function is particularly robust. Finger sucking should generally stop at the age of two. However, if the kid is above the age of two and continues to suckling on fingers or pacifiers, neither the jaw nor the tooth structure grow. If the youngster does not stop doing these things by the age of four or five, he or she should see a dentist.

  • Teeth grinding (bruxism):
    Although the exact reason why youngsters grind their teeth during sleep and throughout the day is unknown, it is considered that the kid is attempting to make the milk teeth contact. On deciduous canines and incisors, external grinding may produce minor wear. When teeth grinding reaches an advanced stage, pain may be felt in the face muscles, head, neck, ear, and jaw joints.

Baby Bottle Caries

Brown and tiny stains can be detected in newborns during the eruption of milk teeth, particularly on the teeth in the front area of the upper jaw. These stains, in reality, are dental caries, and the teeth shatter as a result of this decay. Feeding a bottle of sugar, honey, or biscuit-added milk to a youngster and leaving the bottle in his or her mouth overnight promotes extensive decay. Bottle caries is a form of decay that spreads quickly and causes deterioration of the lower incisors if not treated.

To avoid baby bottle caries

  • Do not leave a bottle in your sleeping baby’s mouth.
  • Do not add sweet things such as honey, sugar, biscuits to the milk you give in a bottle.
  • Take care of your baby’s teeth from the very first teeth. Wipe their teeth with the help of a wet cloth after each feeding.
  • If bottle caries is not treated, it can cause discomfort and irritation, making the infant restless and upsetting the baby's nutrition. It also deforms the permanent teeth that will emerge from below. If these teeth must be pulled, the youngster may develop speech difficulties.

 

Pedodontics benefits

Pedodontics benefits

Primary teeth normally appear at the age of six months. Children should see a pediatric dentist within six months after getting their first tooth, or by the age of one. Pediatric dentists treat problems with the mouth and jaw, as well as concerns like thumb-sucking.

 

Pedodontic Treatment

In pedodontic therapy, it is strongly suggested that all young children be evaluated by a paediatric dentist from an early age. The patient's initial dental checkup is the first step in therapy. In general, young children should see a dentist as soon as their first tooth develops, or by the age of one year. These early checkups tell parents about how well they are cleaning their child's teeth at home.

Following the initial appointment, follow up checks should be planned every six months. During these frequent appointments, patients will undergo normal teeth cleaning and dental examinations. The dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment on a regular basis to prevent against tooth decay caused by carbohydrates and germs.

Several treatments, including those mentioned below, may be required by the dentist during paedodontic therapy.

  • Fillings – This includes the removal of any decaying or damaged tooth structure. The hole is then filled with metal, plastic, or other filler materials. The technique prevents the decay from spreading farther into the tooth.
  • Extractions – When a tooth is badly damaged or diseased, or when a child's teeth are overcrowded, an extraction is performed.
  • Dental Crowns Young children may also require dental crowns to replace poorly damaged teeth. The process begins with the elimination of caries or cavities, followed by the reduction of the tooth's size to suit the crown.
  • Root Canals – Root canal therapy is most commonly used to repair damaged or diseased teeth, as well as traumas that result in tooth loss.
  • Dental X-rays – Dental x-rays are a normal element of a dental exam. X-rays can be used by dentists to identify bone deterioration, tooth decay, impacted teeth, and dental trauma, among other potentially significant problems.
  • Sealants – Once youngsters begin to develop molars, dentists may advocate the use of sealants, which protect the surface of the teeth from wear and strain.

In some circumstances, paedodontic therapy may also entail oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. For example, orthodontics is most typically performed during a child's adolescent years since it is the optimum time to guarantee that the teeth and jawbones are correctly aligned. Orthodontic therapy can help teens prevent numerous possible teeth issues as they get older.

 

Milk teeth problems that can cause issues in permanent teeth

Infections caused by impact on the front milk teeth can result in anomalies in the form, size, and color of permanent teeth. If milk teeth are removed rather than treated, space maintainers may be required to safeguard the space. It is critical that the first and second molars remain in place throughout the emergence of the sixth tooth. As a result, the 6-year teeth will emerge in their regular position.

 

Treating dental problems in children

Treating dental problems

  • Decay
    The decaying tooth is cleaned and treated with either permanent or temporary filling material. If the decay is extensive, root canal therapy can be used to save the tooth's live components.

  • Impacts
    A tooth may be displaced or shattered as a result of a fall or accident. If a tooth fracture occurs as a consequence of an accident, it is important to clean the tooth with warm water and visit the dentist as soon as possible.

  • Tooth extraction
    In certain situations, the decay spreads to the tooth's living tissues, resulting in a painful and inflammatory disease that extends from the tooth's roots to the jawbone. If the troublesome tooth is a milk tooth and the eruption time of the permanent teeth coming from beneath is imminent, an extraction may be necessary. If the permanent tooth's eruption period is not near, a space maintainer should be used instead of an extraction.

To protect your children’s oral health

  • Teach your children to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste that prevents tooth decay.
  • Avoid starchy and sugary foods.
  • Make sure that the water your children drink is fluoridated.
  • Take your child to the dentist for regular dental check-ups.

 

What is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive Dentistry Definition

  • Creating the habit of brushing teeth
  • Creating the habit of using dental floss
  • Tracking tooth eruption (eruption guidance)
  • Detecting and preventing oral habits (such as finger or pacifier sucking)
  • Protective and preventive orthodontic treatments (space maintainer appliance)
  • Gaining the habit of following a balanced diet that does not cause decays
  • Fissure sealant applications
  • Fluoride applications
  • Mouth guard applications to prevent sports injuries
  • Collaborating with parents for these protective practices

 

What is Tooth Mousse?

Tooth Mousse Definition

It is an externally applied, water-based, sugar-free cream that inhibits caries development by maintaining intra-oral acid balance. It is suggested against the formation of caries because to its concentration of casein, a lactoprotein, calcium, and phosphate ions.

 

What is Placeholder Application?

Milk teeth that have decayed and cannot be treated should be removed from the mouth. Because the gap left by the excised tooth will eventually be replaced by a permanent tooth, that area should be protected. To do this, the excised teeth's gaps must be filled using a device known as a placeholder. Otherwise, the teeth to the left and right of the gap will move into the cavity of the excised milk tooth and cover the location where the permanent tooth will grow. Long and expensive procedures may be necessary in the future to repair the dental line. A tiny placeholder, on the other hand, has a far shorter application time and expense than the others.

 

Possible Risks and Complications

Because paedodontic patients are typically adolescents, this specialty of dentistry carries certain unique dangers. For one reason, many young patients are terrified of going to the dentist, making even routine operations problematic. As a result, paediatric dentists are trained and must be patient and determined in order to treat all young patients, especially those with challenging problems.

Another cause of worry for young kids undergoing dental operations is the use of dental anaesthetic. According to research, there are several inevitable hazards associated with anesthesia, including:

Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic agent

  1. Dizziness
  2. Sleepiness
  3. Nausea
  4. Vomiting

Dental procedures themselves also come with several risks, including:

  1. Severe pain (or pain that is unbearable to the child)
  2. Severe bleeding
  3. Fever

 

FAQ

Brushing Teeth

  • Do I need to brush my children's teeth?
    Yes, since children, like adults, generate plaque, which must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent tooth decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits into the child's mouth at least once a day at first, and at least twice a day by the time most of the baby teeth have sprouted.

  • When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
    You should make an appointment around your child's first birthday so that we may examine him or her for proper oral hygiene, cavities, and any developmental or congenital issues.

  • If baby teeth eventually fall out, why are they important?
    Baby teeth are crucial because they perform many of the same functions as adult teeth, such as ripping and chewing food and assisting the infant in speaking appropriately. They also serve as a home for adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost early, a space maintainer is required to prevent the remaining teeth from sliding into the space left by the lost tooth.

  • How do thumb sucking and pacifier habits harm teeth?
    There is little difference between the two behaviors, and they only become an issue when the baby teeth begin to shift or when the tendency persists after the adult teeth have emerged. More information regarding thumb sucking and pacifiers may be found here.

  • I did not give my baby candy but he still has decay. How did that happen?
    Decay is caused by a variety of meals and liquids other than water that do not wash away from the surface of the teeth. Infants and children are completely dependent on their parents. If a youngster is given a bottle containing virtually anything other than water at bedtime, he or she is likely to acquire infant bottle caries, which are cavities on the front teeth. Give your child a bottle of water just before night, and get into the habit of cleaning his or her teeth on a regular basis.

  • How often do children need to visit the dentist?
    Every six months, children should see a dentist. We prefer to catch things when they are tiny, and visiting the child every six months provides us the best opportunity of seeing any symptoms of early degeneration. Furthermore, because teeth grow and fall out, we prefer to retain a record of each patient's dental growth.

  • Is toothpaste good or bad for children?
    Brushing children's teeth with a little amount of fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Apply fluoridated toothpaste to your baby's teeth as soon as they appear. A pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste should be used once your child can reasonably spit, between the ages of 3 and 6. The toothpaste should be dispensed by parents.

  • Should baby teeth be sealed?
    If baby teeth have large pits and cracks that are prone to decay if not sealed, they should be sealed. 

 

Conclusion 

Tooth caries in milk teeth, like permanent teeth, can occur in childhood owing to a lack of oral-dental care. Fractures in the milk teeth can develop as a result of external sources such as falls or impacts, and treatment is required. In the dental care of children, preventive dentistry applications are quite important. Preventive dentistry is advised for children on their first visit to the dentist since it is painless, short-term, and does not cause dental anxiety.