Does your child need care for baby teeth ?

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Your child’s baby teeth are important. We usually have a misconception that primary teeth/ baby teeth/ milk teeth are irrelevant to the child’s future oral health. However, even they are temporary, still play an important part in their lives permanently. If milk teeth are lost too early, the teeth that are left may move and not leave any room for permanent teeth to erupt. Moreover, if they are carious then there are more chances that erupting permanent teeth will be carious too. Also, it can be costly to treat, cause pain, and makes a child irritated.

One of the most common type of dental disorder that develops in a child is Nursing Bottle Caries. It usually happens when a child is put to bed with a bottle or food. The sweetened milk or sticky food clings to an infant's teeth for whole night. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and make acids that attack the teeth. And also, flow of saliva decreases at night. Nursing bottle caries usually happens in the upper front teeth, still other teeth may also be affected.

Ways to prevent tooth decay in children:

From 0-2 years:
You can start cleaning a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears with a clean towel or through rinsing the mouth. Eventually as more teeth appear, brush the child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and water. DO NOT USE TOOTHPASTE as baby can swallow the toothpaste.

From 2-7 years:
Start brushing the teeth with the help of a toothpaste, but only use a pea sized amount. Make the child brush in front of you as they need supervision and are unable to brush their own teeth properly. Make them brush twice a day. Never put your child to bed with a bottle or food.

From 7-12 years:
The permanent teeth start appearing within this age group. Advice them to brush teeth twice daily and avoid sticky foods.

Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. So, parents must schedule a “baby checkup” with a dentist within six months of the first tooth emerges.

Dr. Shalu Jindal

Dr. Shalu Jindal is maxillo-facial surgeon for facial trauma and dental ailments. Facilities for treatment of maxillofacial trauma, tumours and cysts of jaws, infections is available apart from routine dental procedures like scaling, painless extractions, fillings, RCT, fixed dentures etc. The la ...

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