Pediatric dentistry has two main components: preventative care at the dental practice and preventative care at home. As infant and toddler tooth decay have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, a good dental oral care is essential to prevent that.
The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth around 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby’s teeth will appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.
Preventive dentistry is particularly important for children, whose teeth, mouth and gums are still developing. Preventing abnormal growth and cavities in children is easier, more painless and less costly than treating dental problems after they’ve fully developed. More importantly, having a healthy mouth helps children maintain better nutrition, self-esteem and overall health.
An early oral examination aids in the detection of the early stages of tooth decay, and early detection is essential to maintain oral health and modify atypical habits. At the same time, parents often receive a program of preventative home care, including information on finger and thumb sucking and dummy cessation; counselling on proper diet to promote healthy development of teeth and gums; and advice on how to prevent injuries to the mouth and teeth in young children.
When baby molars emerge (usually between the ages of two and three), the pediatric dentist may coat them with dental sealant. This sealant covers the hard-to-reach fissures on the molars, sealing out bacteria, food particles, and acid. Dental sealant may last for many months or many years, depending on the oral habits of the child. Dental sealant is an important tool in the fight against tooth decay.
The pediatric dentist is also able to monitor the child’s fluoride levels during routine visits. Topical fluoride remineralizes the teeth and prevents mineral loss, protecting tooth enamel from oral acid attacks. Some children are also given take-home fluoride supplements (for children we give different flavour to encourage it uses).
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