Paediatric dentistry and dental prevention

Paediatric dentistry and dental prevention

It is the Dentistry branch that treats children.

The paediatric dentist’s task comprises identifying dento-maxillary anomalies and undertaking a restorative treatment for both the milk teeth and the permanent teeth present.

This restorative treatment consists in:

  • Using fissure sealing, filling tooth gaps to avoid possible caries
  • Treating caries and its consequences
  • Curing dental trauma

They also perform an informative role for parents regarding prevention and hygiene matters.

What is dental caries?

It is a disease that destroys the tooth dûe to the action of some bacteria. It affects both the milk tooth and the permanent tooth.

Why is it advisable to treat milk teeth if they are going to fall anyway?

Permanent teeth are formed under the roots of milk teeth and any infection in the milk tooth can affect the permanent one.

What causes caries?

  • Lack of brushing
  • Eating often and especially sweet and sticky foods (candy)
  • Frequent consumption of sweet and/or acidic drinks (sodas)
  • Dummies or baby’s bottles with sugary liquids all night

How to prevent caries

Consult your dentist for the first time between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, and then every year.

The dentist will examine your child and give you some advice.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day at least (in the morning and in the evening after dinner)
Age Eruption of deciduous teeth
6 months Lower central incisor
7-9 months Upper central incisor and upper lateral
12 months Lower first molar
14 months Upper first molar
16 months Lower canine
18 months Upper canine
20 months  Lower second molar
24 months Upper second molar
Permanent dentition
6-7 years Lower central incisor
7-8 years Upper central incisor and lower lateral
8-9 years Upper lateral incisor
9- 10 years Lower canine
10-11 years Upper first premolar
11- 12 years Lower second premolar and upper canine
12- 13 years Upper second molar
From the age of 17 Wisdom teeth

What do I have to do if my teeth are crowded?

Consult your dentist, who will tell you what to do and when you should consult the Orthodontist.

What do I have to do in case of trauma with loss of part or the whole of a tooth?

Consult your dentist to treat and assess the consequences.

In case of loss of the (whole) permanent tooth, keep it in the mouth, in milk or in physiological serum without handling it and go to your dentist as soon as possible.

From what age do we have to take care of our teeth?

Since the first teeth start to come through and until the age of 2 years, use a small brush and toothpaste without fluoride because children swallow it.

From the age of two-and-a-half years, it is advisable to use toothpastes with fluoride but with a suitable concentration.

Children cannot clean their teeth properly until they are 6 years old. Parents should do it for them.

From the age of 6 years, depending on the child, they will have the ability to do it well.

  • Avoid letting the child eat and consume sweet drinks all day
  • Put only water in the night bottle
  • Do not suck the spoon or the dummy before giving it to your child

Why does my child grind the teeth at night?

Night-time bruxism is unconscious and is caused by the repetitive contraction of the masseters –the mastication muscles.

It usually happens in the first moments of sleep and stops when the sleep is deeper.

Bruxism in children tends to appear between the ages of four and six years and usually disappears when the permanent teeth come through.

This habit may cause tooth wear and deterioration in addition to gum diseases.

The causes of bruxism are still unknown but it could be linked to emotional stress states, anxiety, the sleeping position, parasites or certain disorders.

The treatment consists in correcting the factors that favour this habit. It can also help if the child does not watch violent programmes on television, or has a relaxing bath before going to bed and, if you hear the child grinding the teeth during the night, change the child’s sleeping position.

Do I have to give fluoride to my child?

Fluoride is an effective complement to brushing. However, the excess of fluoride is toxic and may cause Fluorosis. It must always be prescribed by the child’s odontologist or paediatrician with doses adapted to the child’s age and weight.

The importance of taking Fluoride pills by mouth has gradually decreased and, instead, topical application has proved to reduce caries rates to a considerable extent

The purpose of topical fluoride is to form apatite fluoride in the tooth post-eruptive period.

On a professional level, we apply fluoride gel in disposable cuvettes.

It is advisable to do it 3 times a year.

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