Children’s Dentistry (Pedodontics) - İstanbul Dental Center
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Children’s Dentistry (Pedodontics)

Pedodontics literally means “PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY” and is mainly involved in the examination and monitoring of oral health of children. This branch of dentistry also deals with preventive oral health.

PEDODONTICS

WHAT IS PEDODONTICS?

Pedodontics literally means “PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY” and is mainly involved in the examination and monitoring of oral health of children. A specialist dentist in this specific discipline of dentistry is called a “pedodontist”. Dental treatment of children should be performed by a pedodontist.

IS TOOTH DECAY CONTAGIOUS?

Dental caries is a disease that can be transmitted from the mother to the child. Close contact with the mother or the caretaker causes the transmission of bacteria of dental caries to the child (for example: feeding the child with the same spoon, with which the mother checked the temperature of the food previously; mother checking the flow of the food from the feeding bottle with her mouth or kissing the baby on its face close to the mouth, etc.).

IS TREATMENT OF CARIES IN MILK TEETH NECESSARY?

Treatment of decayed deciduous teeth will allow for the healthy development of future permanent teeth. Therefore, potential future misalignments of teeth or jaws will be prevented. It is possible to treat decayed milk teeth at any age. It is also possible to treat decayed milk teeth appropriately under general anaesthesia. Decayed teeth are sources of infection. They cause the development of many dangerous diseases in children. Protection from dental caries takes shorter and is easier and more economical than its treatment.

WHEN DOES THE FIRST DECIDUOUS TOOTH (MILK TOOTH) ERUPT?

The deciduous teeth first erupt around the sixth month of age and the first permanent tooth erupts at the age of 6. Milk teeth fall out at various times during childhood until the age of 11 and they are replaced by the permanent teeth.

HOW DOES THE FIRST DENTAL CARIES DEVELOP?

The rapid proliferation of bacteria in the mouth of the child after the eruption of the first teeth will cause dental caries at very early ages if active and regular tooth brushing is not applied.
Bottle feeding or nursing for longer periods or in the night is associated with early tooth decay.
Offering pacifiers to the child after dipping them into honey or jam will also cause dental caries in the deciduous teeth.

WHAT ARE THE PREVENTIVE MEASURES AGAINST TOOTH DECAY IN CHILDREN?

Teeth cleaning should start in infancy after the eruption of first teeth. Teeth should be cleaned using a sterile gauze or finger brushes made of silicone after breakfast in the morning and before going to sleep at night.

Ordinary tooth brushing should begin when the child is at the age of two or two and a half. Tooth brushing should start with fluoride-containing toothpaste after 5 years of age, applying just a tiny smear of toothpaste onto the brush. Cleaning the teeth only with water will be sufficient until this age.
The critical time of teeth brushing is night-time before going to sleep. Because saliva is secreted less during the night, this prepares the grounds for dental caries to develop readily.

Fluoride-containing gels applied by your dentist will protect the tooth enamel against developing caries.

Regular administration of fluoride tablets is beneficial between 0-12 years of age.

Dosage:

6 months-3 years: > 0.25 mg/day

3-6 years: > 0.50 mg/day

6-16 years: > 1 mg/day

Tablets are initially given by adding them to milk. With growing age, taking the tablets by sucking in the mouth will enhance their protective effect.

Dental sealants covering the pits and grooves on the surface of teeth prevent the development of dental caries.

Studies have demonstrated that the sealants stay on the surface of teeth for 10-15 years when applied appropriately.
The sealants can be transparent, in the same colour as the enamel or they may be coloured.

Families need to take their children to a specialist when the children have good oral health so that these preventive measures will be taken before the development of dental caries.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER ORAL AND DENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN?

Finger sucking and other bad oral habit

Finger or lip sucking, nail-biting, and long-term chewing of hard objects like pens or toys may cause displacement or misalignment of teeth. Especially long-term thumb sucking causes structural abnormalities in teeth and the palate.
If the child did not break this habit until 5 years of age, professional help should be obtained by contacting a dental specialist.

Pacifiers

If the infant shows a tendency for finger sucking, a pacifier can be offered. The pacifier should be offered when required, but not during most of the day. Its durability should be checked every day. Pacifiers made of silicone should be preferred, mimicking mother’s nipple.
Pacifier use should be stopped before the infant reaches the age of one.

Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Children under stress, showing avoidant personality character or obsessive traits may have a tendency for bruxism. If psychological interventions do not achieve success, night-time dental appliances should be applied to the child by a specialist.

DENTAL INJURIES
  • Dental injuries often occur in 2-4-year-old toddlers or at the ages between 8-10 years when children start the primary school. There are various types of dental injuries:
  • Families facing this kind of injuries should immediately take the child to a specialist in child dentistry, regardless of the severity.
  • The specialist dentist will schedule an appropriate treatment plan according to the emergent damage.
  • If dental accidents are not followed up, they may have severe consequences later even though they might have looked trivial at the beginning.
  • If a part of the tooth is broken and the remaining tooth is in the mouth, the broken piece should be brought to the dentist immediately with the child. If the fractured part of the tooth is lost, the dentist will restore the tooth with perfectly compatible materials.
  • If the tooth fell out, it must be put in cold milk and brought to a dentist with the child in an hour at most. If these conditions are provided, treatment will be possible by fixing the tooth into its original place.
  • Achieving a successful treatment will be more likely if the tooth is not held by its roots during this

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