As a child grows, there are various dental concerns that arise which require attention of the parents and the dentist. Starting from the eruption of the first tooth to when the permanent teeth have come, Good Oral Hygiene is a necessity so that the child can have a healthy smile for life.Here are some common concerns that parents face regarding their child’s oral health:
My child is 1.5 years old. Some of his teeth have come. Does he need to brush at this age?
Yes, Cleaning of the teeth must begin as soon as the first tooth has come through in the oral cavity.
My child has the habit of drinking bottle milk in the night. Is that OK as some people suggest bottle milk shouldn’t be fed?
It is actually a very common habit for children to drink bottle milk in the night. The problem lies in the fact that the child usually sleeps with the bottle in the mouth .This is unhealthy for the child’s oral health as the extra milk gets accumulated around the teeth over the course of the night leading to tooth decay. This decay, commonly called Nursing Bottle Caries, can proceed and affect almost all the teeth in the mouth.
My friend’s son is just 3 years old and even though he is brushing his teeth regularly, his teeth have become black. Why?
This might be case of Nursing Bottle Caries due to bottle milk drinking habit in the night as mentioned above.
What should we do to prevent nursing bottle caries?
It is better to avoid feeding by bottle while sleeping. If it is unavoidable, the best thing would be to wipe off the child’s teeth with some wet clean cloth after feeding. This can prevent sticking of the milk around the teeth.
What is the remedy for this?
If nursing bottle caries is not taken care of, it is advisable to see the dentist so that the infection can be managed in time and prevented from spreading to other and underlying permanent teeth.
After all these are milk teeth only, they will fall on their own. Do we really need to worry so much?
Yes, most of these milk teeth will fall by the age of 12, so we need to protect them for another 8-9 years till the permanent teeth erupt. If the infection goes down and is not checked, it may sometime affect the developing permanent teeth in the bone.
My child is 6 years old. One new tooth is growing behind the front milk tooth. Do i need to do something now?
Yes, you must get the front milk tooth removed immediately, so that the permanent tooth doesn’t get firm at that position and gets some space to move in front. The milk tooth may be blocking the growth of the permanent tooth.
My child is 8 years old now and some of his milk teeth have fallen off. His permanent teeth are coming in a zigzag manner and are very big in size too. What can I do to avoid this?
Usually permanent teeth start coming by the age of 6 years and they erupt in full size. An interesting fact is that they actually never grow in size. At this age, the child’s jaw bone is still small and is yet to grow. This discrepancy between tooth size and jaw bone size makes the teeth look big and generally bothers the parents. The Spacing gets rectified with time.
However, it is better to see your dentist because in some cases like when the upper front teeth are coming behind the position to the lower front teeth (Anterior Crossbite), early intervention is needed to manage the misalignment of the teeth and an orthodontist can put the braces to align the teeth.
What is the right age to put the braces?
Usually the first visit for detection of any misalignment should be when the child is around 7-8 years old. At this age, if some developing malocclusion is there, it can be managed in time. Mostly Braces are put after the age of 11.For more information, you can read my previous blog about braces here.
Gupta Dental Implant and Orthodontic Centre is a leading dental clinic in Gurgaon. Dr Ankur Gupta and Dr Ankita Gupta are highly experienced in providing child friendly dental treatment.