Paedodontics (Children Dentistry)

25 August 2013
[wptabs style=”wpui-cyaat9″] [wptabtitle]Overview[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Paedodontics (Children Dentistry)

Paedodontics or paediatric dentistry refers to provision of oral healthcare service to children aged one to 17 years. Every child is prescribed a comprehensive oral health care programme catered to his or her own needs with the aim of helping the child to achieve optimal oral health. Provision of care includes both restorative and preventive components with emphasis on prevention and early interception of oral diseases.

Our dental centres are equipped with children treatment rooms. Please call to make an appointment in advance.


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Eruption Of Teeth

Generally the first Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth or primary teeth erupt when the baby is about 6-8 months old and continues until twenty-five to thirty-three months of age. There are a total of 20 primary teeth.

Primary Teeth Eruption Charts

The permanent dentition (‘adult teeth’) usually starts erupting when the child turns 6 year old. However, there may be some variations from child to child. As long as the child is well nourished and healthy, the change from primary teeth to permanent teeth for most kids should occur between 6 to 12 years old. The last permanent teeth to come out, the Wisdom Teeth, usually occurs around 18-21 years of age.

Permanent Teeth Eruption Chart


Early Decay And Loss Of Primary Teeth

It is important to teach your child proper brushing and oral hygiene habits since young as these measures will prevent early loss of primary teeth.

Early loss of primary teeth is undesirable as it:

  • May lead to drifting of remaining teeth into empty spaces, resulting in misalignment of permanent teeth
  • Affects speech development and self esteem of your child, especially if it is a front tooth
  • Affects Chewing Efficiency
Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (also known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast. The problem usually arises when the child takes a baby bottle filled with milk or drinks with sugars e.g. fruit juices, honey etc immediately before they nap or sleep.The sugars found in milk and these drinks can attack the primary teeth while the child sleeps, causing very bad decay over time.It is a good idea to bring the child to see a dentist regularly once the primary teeth appear. so that decay and other dental problems can be detected and treated early. Many parents time these check ups to coincide with their own regular visits.


[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Other Dental Problems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Other Dental Problems In Children

Other concerns that parents may want to keep a look out for are:

  1. Amelogenesis or Dentinogenesis Imperfecta where there are defects in tooth formation; this is usually hereditary. The affected teeth usually appear discolored and weak.
  2. Congenitally missing teeth. In some children, some of the permanent teeth may fail to develop. When this happens, the primary tooth preceding the missing permanent tooth fails to fall out.
  3. Teeth misalignment: To some extent, this can be prevented by:
  • Early interceptive orthodontic treatment with functional appliance;
  • Regular visits to the dentist to extract over retained primary teeth to avoid cross bite in adult teeth;
  • Prevention of early loss of primary teeth;
  • Correcting bad habits, for instance stopping the use of pacifier after age 3

If You Are Pregnant…

Why is it important for women to take care of their oral health during their pregnancy?

About half of women experience pregnancy gingivitis characterised by swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. Possible causes are the hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy and poor oral hygiene. If left untreated, this may progress to a more serious condition called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a gum infection that destroys attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth. It may affect the health of your baby.

Studies have shown that pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to give birth to a premature or underweight baby (preterm low birth weight baby). The likely culprit is a labor-inducing chemical found in oral bacteria called prostaglandin as very high levels of prostaglandin are found in women with severe cases of periodontal disease. Some pregnant women report large lumps in their gums. These are called pregnancy tumors and can be removed by a periodontist.

Advice for pregnant females

It is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and visiting a dentist regularly, preferably before pregnancy. Avoid sweet and sticky foods that tend to be high in refined sugars. Brush your teeth after each snack. If you are unable to brush your teeth after a snack or meal, rinse your mouth a couple times with water.

It is ideal to schedule your dental visit between the fourth and sixth month of your pregnancy because the first three months of pregnancy are most significant in your baby’s growth. In the first trimester, x-rays, pain medication and dental anesthetics are usually not prescribed unless they are necessary. In the last trimester, you may experience great discomfort sitting in the dental chair for too long.

In the case of an emergency visit, make sure your dentist knows you are pregnant.

[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Frequently Asked Questions[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Frequently Asked Questions

[wpspoiler name=”When should I start cleaning and what should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?” style=”wpui-green”]You should start as early as possible. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?” style=”wpui-green”]Your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems.
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Are baby teeth really that important to my child?” style=”wpui-green”]Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”What should I do if my child has a toothache?” style=”wpui-green”]First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child a painkiller, if required and see a dentist as soon as possible.
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?” style=”wpui-green”]Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or pacifiers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your dentist.
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?” style=”wpui-green”]Avoid nursing children to sleep and children should not fall asleep with a bottle. If need to, just put water in their bed-time bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. Drinking juice from a bottle should not be encouraged.
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”When should a child start brushing with tooth paste?” style=”wpui-green”]Toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When toothpaste is used, parents should supervise brushing and make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?” style=”wpui-green”]The most important thing to do is to remain calm and find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root. Then try to reinsert it back into the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child to the dentist as soon as possible. Remember to bring the tooth!
[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”What are the tell-tale signs of teething?” style=”wpui-green”]
  • Excessive drooling, which may lead to a rash on the face or chest

  • Gum swelling and sensitivity

  • Irritability or fussiness

  • Low-grade fever

  • Refusing food

  • Rubbing of ears and cheeks

  • Sleep problems

  • Urge to bite on hard objects

[/wpspoiler][wpspoiler name=”How do I relieve my child’s teething pain?” style=”wpui-green”]Your child may have sore gums when teeth erupt. Many children like to bite on a chilled clean teething ring or cold wet washcloth. You could try rubbing the baby’s gums with a teething gel which can be purchased over the counter from most pharmacies.
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