Pediatric dentistry (pedodontics) is responsible for the prevention, early diagnosis, and dental treatment (caries, accidental trauma, etc.). The pediatric dentistry department deals with the treatment, prevention, and oral hygiene of common oral traumas, especially in young children, beyond caries care in deciduous and permanent teeth.
Why is Pediatric Dentistry Important?
Every child has their personality, temperament and they may react differently when they start to experience health practices. The pedodontics approach includes multiple pedagogical methods to deal with the child’s concerns. It advises them on habits that should be acquired for good dental health and accompanies them.
Since it is essential to raise awareness of children and parents on oral hygiene, good eating habits, thumb sucking, or bottle rot, we recommend that the first contact be made from the age of 2-3 years. In this process, we will also try to establish a relationship of trust with the child.
Even if milk teeth leave their place as permanent teeth during the development process, they have a fundamental role in the growth and development of children’s jaws. In addition to serving as a guide for the health of future permanent teeth, they are necessary for good occlusion, correct chewing, and mature swallowing.
What is the Purpose of Pediatric Dentistry?
Reception and communication are critical in pediatric dentistry to reassure the child about our care. If a child doesn’t have problems in the first dental treatment, he will take over the control of oral health more easily throughout his life. In addition to reassuring your child not to develop a fear of the dentist, we also aim to teach him the proper eating and brushing habits and make him aware of the importance of good oral hygiene. The sooner children recognize their teeth, the more likely they will absorb them and keep them healthy throughout their lives.
Dental treatment in children is the same as in adults. However, it is even more important to act quickly for therapy in children. Because dental problems in children occur much faster. There are two main pathologies in children:
- The first of these which is dental caries, is the most common. Tooth decay in children develops faster than in adults.
- The other is gingival abscesses that may result from the eruption process of the milk tooth. It is essential to monitor them well to prevent them from becoming more severe and ensure that they don’t suffer from pain.
We apply the most effective treatments to fix the problem in both cases. We provide gentle care to the child and help him understand the issues of reasonable care.
How Do Children’s Teeth Develop?
Children’s teeth and developmental rates vary significantly from birth to adulthood:
- The first milk teeth erupt 6 to 12 months after birth.
- All your child’s temporary teeth (milk teeth) are completed between 2 and 3.
- The first permanent tooth, the first molar, appears at 6 years.
- Between 6 and 12, permanent teeth begin to replace the deciduous milk teeth.
- The second permanent molar emerges at the age of 12, which is the end of mixed dentition.
These dates are average time intervals, and late or early eruption of teeth doesn’t necessarily mean a problem.
Protective Applications of Pedodontics
Preventive treatments are applied in pedodontics to prevent caries in children before they occur. The main protective applications are;
Fluorine is an element that strengthens teeth and prevents decay. Fluorine strengthens tooth enamel by protecting it from acids. We recommend applying fluoride in the form of gel or varnish on the tooth surface under the control of a dentist every 6 months in children.
It is the filling of the fissures in the teeth (deep recesses on the chewing surface) with a fluid, thinned filling material. Its purpose is to make the teeth’ chewing surface flatter and ensure that the foods are removed more easily with saliva flow and tongue movements without sticking to the teeth. Fissure sealants applied in childhood can prevent dental caries even in adulthood.
It is a treatment placed in the mouth to prevent the teeth from slipping for the permanent teeth to come out at the right angle if the milk teeth fall out prematurely. In this way, future orthodontic disorders are prevented.
Infection Treatments in Pedodontics
One of the most asked questions is that “Can root canal treatment be done in milk teeth?”
Milk teeth are independent of the underlying permanent tooth germs. They also have roots, canals, and nerves. Root canal treatment in children is completed in a shorter time. It doesn’t take as long as in adults. The treatment can be completed in a single session, or it can be completed in 2-3 sessions due to the tooth’s condition. Local anesthesia and X-rays may be required during treatment.
By cleaning the rotten part of the tooth, the filling is made with compomer, composite, or glass ionomer-based materials depending on the size of the material loss. Sometimes it may require local anesthesia.
Trauma Treatments in Pedodontics
Dental trauma is one of the most common situations in childhood. For children and families, trauma to the teeth due to falling and impact is unfortunate. The highest rate of falling and impact; there occurs a fracture/displacement of the teeth in the anterior region. The broken or displaced tooth cannot lose its vitality; The tooth/piece can be kept in saliva or milk until you go to the doctor. It is essential to go to the dentist quickly, such as 30 minutes – 1 hour after falling/crashing cases.
Post Traumatic Treatments
Depending on the size of the fracture and the fracture line, the broken tooth piece can be glued in place with unique filling materials. If the broken part is very small or missing, the dental tissue can be completed by aesthetic filling to the tooth. If the displaced tooth is replaced within 30 minutes, there may be a chance for the tooth to stay in place by fusing to the bone. The tooth may not be dislodged broken but be wobbly. The tooth fixation can be splinted to prevent uncontrolled shaking in such cases. Teeth may lose their vitality due to the shock effect during impact and falling. In such a case, a root canal treatment will be required. However, traumatized teeth may not react correctly with their vitality at first. Therefore, these teeth should be followed for 6 months -1 year. Change in color and darkening of the tooth in the post-traumatic process indicates the loss of vitality of the tooth.
Why Should You Take Care of Milk Teeth?
Unfortunately, even if permanent teeth replace milk teeth, they must be treated, contrary to a widespread opinion. The care of milk teeth is necessary for your child to have good permanent teeth on the one hand and to fulfill many more functions on the other hand. They provide a functional role during chewing, contribute significantly to your child’s speech, and lastly, the appearance of teeth in children also has a significant effect on their psychology.
If left untreated, decayed teeth will cause pain in your child and potentially affect their general health (fever, lymph nodes). In addition, if the child’s caries develops into an infection, this infection can also cause irreversible damage to the underlying permanent tooth.
How Often Should Children Be Taken to the Dentist?
Children experience many physiological changes during their growth. This requires regular monitoring. In addition, caries in children progresses rapidly, which can be painless. For this reason, we recommend that you bring your children to our clinic every six months.