Special Needs, Special Attention

Kids Oral Care

Your dental needs may differ from others. Each individual may have specific emotional, physical and medical conditions, which mean that you have to be treated differently and with extra care. We believe in helping our patients get the best experience, a reason we have different types of dental experiences suited for the following people.

 Baby Teeth

Most of us are unaware of the fact that one should not wait till the appearance of the 1st baby tooth. Good oral care should start right from the birth because healthy gums will eventually lead to healthy teeth.

Your baby’s first tooth erupts at the age of 4-6 months and that is the time to start brushing their  teeth. Brush twice a day for at least 2 mins.

What is Baby Tooth Decay?

If you are using a bottle to feed your baby then your baby may get “ Nursing Bottle Mouth”. It is one of the most common mistakes which can cause a baby to develop cavities. But with proper care this can be avoided.

What are the causes?

This decay occurs when a child’s teeth are frequently in contact with sugary liquids for long periods of time – like milk with sugar/honey, juices , formula milk or even plain milk at the bedtime.

How can this be avoided?

  • One should never use a feeding bottle as a pacifier, while a baby is sleeping or even awake.
  • Never put a child to bed with bottle that has milk or juices . Try using plain water instead.
  • Avoid dipping pacifiers in sugar or honey.

How to care for your baby’s gums?

After each feeding one should always clean the gum pads of the child with wet sterile cotton or gauze pad.

Special Attention For Babies

Always use a toothbrush with extra soft bristles till the child is of the age of 2-3yrs.

After that switch to a fluoride toothpaste (under dentists guidance ).

If you do want to train your child for using a toothpaste then opt for fluoride free. It is safe to swallow toothpaste that doesn’t contain any artificial colours or preservatives. A fruity flavour and non- foaming formula helps.

Always take into consideration your child’s need at various stages :-

DENTITION :- Formation of tooth and jaw

DEXTERITY:- Ability to handle a toothbrush

DEVELOPMENT:- Emotional changes and interests.

When Will My Child Begin with the teething process?

Usually the two lower front teeth (central incisors) come in at about 5-6  months of age,  shortly followed  by the two upper front teeth (central incisors). During the next 18-24 months, the rest of the baby teeth will appear, although it may not be in orderly sequence from front to back. All the 20 primary teeth should be present at by the age of 2-3 years.

Signs of teething :-

– Fussiness

Drooling

Urge to put objects in the mouth.

A temperature of less than 100 degrees is considered normal while teething, but if your child has a fever while teething, call your physician.

How can I help my child with the pain during the teething process?

The discomfort of teeth coming into the mouth can cause your baby to become irritable. You can ease some of the discomfort by gently rubbing the baby’s gums with a clean finger or a wet gauze pad. A cool teething ring can also help to soothe your baby’s tender gums. Another method is to allow them to chew on a teething biscuit, a cold piece of salad like carrot, or a piece of toast. You an also try teething medications that can be rubbed on the gums. These medications are available in pharmacies.

With the appearance of the first teeth, begin using a children’s soft-bristle toothbrush/ fingerbrush to clean them on a daily basis. Giving your baby regular oral cleanings after each meal helps to instill a good oral hygiene routine.

Preventive Measures For Good Oral Care

Children’s teeth begin forming even before they are born.  As early as four months, the first primary, or baby teeth, erupt through the gums. All 20 of the primary/decidous teeth usually appear by age three, although their pace and order of eruption may vary.

Permanent teeth will start appearing around age six. This process will continue approximately till the age of 21. To ensure good oral health and a lifetime of good oral care habits the following  preventive measures should be taken into consideration:

  • Limit the intake of sugar to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Make sure your children get enough fluoride, either through drinking water or as a treatment at the dentist’s office to strengthen tooth enamel and avoid decay. This may include fluoride supplements in areas where drinking water is not optimally fluoridated. Be sure to consult your dentist about supplements to determine if at all they are needed.
  • Application of Dental Sealants. Dental sealants  provide a further layer of protection against cavities and help to protect teeth from decay. They are plastic coatings and are generally placed on the surface of back teeth.
  • Teach kids to brush and floss regularly and properly. Try  to make brushing and flossing fun for your child in order to encourage a good oral health routine.

                                              What are major Obstacles To Children’s Oral Health?

Some common challenges  when it comes to kids’ oral health.

Babies

      Baby bottle tooth decay:  To avoid this common problem, always wipe gums with gauze or clean   washcloth and water after feeding. As soon as the first teeth appear, start brushing brush daily with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Also remember to put the child to bed with a bottle of water instead of milk or juice.

  • Thumb sucking:  Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for all children till the age of 3-4yrs. It is absolutely normal for infants and toddlers to suck their thumb or finger as it is a soothing mechanism. It helps them feel secure and safe. But once your child is 3 years old, it’s time to break the habit.  Never wait too long in helping  your child to refrain from finger or thumb sucking. It can lead to many developmental changes and can have psychological effect on the child.
  • Changes in the shape of jaw, teeth and overall bite.
  • Speech problems
  • Tongue muscles don’t develop properly.
  • Children may develop ‘ buck teeth’, which is cosmetically not appealing.
  • Every child is different, and there is no one right way to stop the habit.
  • Consult your  dentist on your child’s sucking habits.
  • White spots on teeth:  White spots on teeth are the first sign of tooth decay. It may be because of various reasons:-
  • 1) Diet – Eating or drinking too much of acidic drinks can cause white spots on the teeth.
  • 2) Fluorosis – Flouride is good for enamel strength , but too much of fluoride in the developing teeth can have opposite effect and may cause decay and discolouration.
  • 3) Enamel Hypolasia – This means that the tooth has less enamel than normal. It may be because of some nutritional deficiencies.
  • 4) Accumulation of Plaque –  Plaque accumulation because of poor oral hygiene can also cause white spots on the teeth.
  • 5) Sleeping with the mouth open – White spots on the teeth may be caused by sleeping with the mouth open. These white spots are caused by dehydration of the enamel surface on your teeth.

Toddlers

Kids are often scared of the dentists. The big threatening equipment of the dentist and the loud noises from an unfriendly environment evokes fear in the minds of many tiny tots. What they need is a secure and friendly environment to get over their fears.

  • Fear of the dentist: Allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap during the exam to make them feel more comfortable.
  • Difficulty creating an oral care routine: Try involving the whole family, and be a role model. For example, brush together at the same time each day to start creating a good habit.
  • Stains from antibiotics: Speak to the pediatrician before any medication is prescribed. Some antibiotics may leave a black/brown residue on the child’s teeth.

Grade-schoolers

Over indulgence in sweets/Fast-Food:  Try to give your children healthy snack options like fruits, vegetables, yogurt or cheese.

Stains from antibiotics:  Speak to the pediatrician before any medication is prescribed. Some antibiotics may leave a black/brown residue on the child’s teeth.

  • Oral injuries from sports:  Encourage children to wear mouth guards during sports to protect their teeth from any potential accidents.

Teenagers

  • Braces:  Make sure that teens brush well with an orthodontic brush around braces and use a floss  to remove all food particles.
  • Oral injuries from sports:  Encourage children to wear mouth guards during sports to protect their teeth from any potential accidents.

How will we help?

We love to make your kids have healthy teeth and happy smiles. A good dentist will be able to help you solve your child’s needs. We teach the kids good oral hygiene, and encourage the parents to help their child in maintaining oral care habits. We ensure:

  • Your child’s teeth are looked after
  • A proper dental checkup is carried out
  • Your child is offered the right advice on oral health and healthy food