Pediatric dentistry - questions and answers
Pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that deals with child's health and regular development of teeth and supporting structures form their birth up to their adolescent years.
A child should visit a pedodontist up to the age of 18 i.e. up to the moment when all the permanent teeth have formed and have a regular position. This period can last up to the age of 21.
The first visit to the dentist should be before the age of 7, in order for the child to get to know the dentist and the office and to gain trust.
Pedodontics classifies its patients according to age and teeth and supporting structures development phase. There are 4 basic groups, and these are:
- 0 to 3 years - a period in which the milk teeth are developed
- 3 to 6 years - a period of milk teeth
- 6 to 12 years - a period of milk teeth falling out and permanent teeth eruption
- 12 to 18 years - a period of permanent teeth and supporting structures development
Milk teeth are susceptible to periodontal diseases. Caries is very frequent because children tend to consume a lot of sugar.
It is very important to treat milk teeth, the same as permanent teeth. During the child's development the jaw and dental supporting structures are formed, and milk teeth play a very important role in it so they have to be preserved.
During the growth of a child, his jaw is also growing. In order for the jaw to be regularly formed it is essential that the dental arch isn't disturbed. If a few teeth are missing, the neighboring teeth will collapse and that leads to an irregular bite, and can also cause speech difficulties.
Dentists who have specialized in pedodontics are usually very patient and have a touch for children. One should definitely consult his friends and acquaintances who have already been in the same situation and have chosen the best dentist for their child.
One should visit the chosen dentist in absence of the child and have a short conversation to decide if he is the best for your child.
It should be openly discussed while making an appointment. It is recommendable that the first visit to the dentist is only for the purpose of getting to know the child with the dentist, the office, the equipment and the staff. This visit should be relaxing and comfortable for the child.
First milk teeth start to erupt around baby's 4th month, although it is not a rule. The time of eruption of the first teeth can be very individual.
Children will have a total of 20 milk teeth and they should all be developed by the age of 3. Pace and order of teeth eruption varies from child to child.
Loss of the first milk teeth can start at the age of 6, while all milk teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth till the age of 12.
Development of permanent teeth with children is different and should be finished by the age of 18, but in some cases it can be possible for that period to prolong till the age of 21.
Toothbrushes for children are very soft and gentle. Given the size of their mouths, they have a smaller head to easily reach each part of the oral cavity.
At the age of 4 or 5 the child is big enough to brush his own teeth by himself. It is advisable for the parent to supervise the child, especially if the child uses a toothpaste containing fluoride. From the age of 7, a child should be independent enough to brush his own teeth without supervision of the parents.