The very young, pre-teens, and teenagers all need different approaches in dealing with their behavior, guiding their dental growth and development, and helping them avoid future dental problems.
Why Are The Primary Teeth So Important?
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can and frequently do lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth are important for (1) proper chewing and eating, (2) providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position, and (3) permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. Primary teeth also affect the development of speech and add to an attractive appearance. While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.
Eruption Of Your Child’s Teeth
Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies.
Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, or up to 32 including the third molars (or wisdom teeth).
How can we help your child maintain their healthy smile!!
1. Fluoride application : fluoride appication prevents tooth decay. This preventive application is very beneficial at young age.
2. Sealants (seal out decay!!) : A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
3. Habit breaking appliance : deletrious habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting may lead to teeth malallignment later in life. Appliances in conjunction with positive reinforcement can help the child come out of these habits.
4. Cavity fillings : cavities in children progress in a different way than in adults, thats why they require special high fluoride fillings to prevent further decay.
5. Pulp therapy : If dental caries (cavities) or traumatic injury involve the nerve of the tooth, then the tooth requires pulp therapy. Pulp therapy is often referred to as a “nerve treatment”, “pulpectomy” or “pulpotomy”. The two common forms of pulp therapy in children’s teeth are the pulpotomy and pulpectomy. It involves partial (pulpotomy) or complete (pulpectomy) removal of the diseased pulp tissue. Next, an agent is placed to prevent bacterial growth and to calm the remaining nerve tissue. This is followed by a final restoration.
6. Preventive/Interceptive Orthodontics : Developing malocclusions, or bad bites, can be recognized at an early age. Often, early steps can be taken to reduce the need for major orthodontic treatment at a later age. At Gums n Braces we believe that Prevention is better than cure and that is why we give special attention to preventive orthodontics
7. Space Maintainers : Children may need space maintainers if they lose a tooth early or have a baby (primary) tooth extracted due to dental decay. Baby teeth are important to the development of the teeth, jaw bones and muscles and help to guide permanent teeth into position when the baby teeth are lost. If a space is not maintained, then teeth can shift into the open space and crowding of teeth may result. A space maintainer is an appliance that is custom-made and is either removable or cemented in a child’s mouth. Its purpose is to keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt and come into the space