Dental issues that affect children
Even though baby teeth eventually fall out to make room for permanent teeth, if they are damaged, they may affect the new teeth. Baby teeth only start to fall out around the age of six, with molars falling out only at the age of 12. Stainless steel crowns are metal caps used by dentists to repair baby molars.
A child’s jaw bones will continue to grow and change as they age. By the age of 13 and 15 in girls and 16 to 18 in boys, this growth usually stops. Space maintainers many be required when a child loses a baby tooth early or has one extracted. A space maintainer may be required if recommended by a dentist. They are either removable or attached inside the mouth and made from metal or acrylic material.
Thumb sucking in children should not usually be a concern until a child’s permanent teeth come in. Children suck on their thumbs as it comforts and relaxes them, providing them with a sense of security. Most children grow out of the habit before the age of four. If your child has not yet stopped this habit, it may be time to seek help as aggressive sucking can affect tooth alignment, mouth growth, and shape of the face.
Tongue thrusting is an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) that causes the tongue to protrude through the front teeth during swallowing, while talking or when the tongue is at rest. It is common in babies upto the age of six months until the infant starts eating solid food When this behaviour continues past the age of 7, the continuous pressure can force teeth out of alignment, interfere with facial development, affect and skeletal growth. Diagnosis is usually made when a doctor detects a dental or speech problem.
Pre-eruption guidance makes room for permanent teeth before they grow into the mouth. Sometimes, a milk tooth may not fall out for a while and prevents the permanent tooth underneath from erupting.
Fluoride varnish has been shown to be very effective in reducing decay and remineralizing the teeth when applied twice a year. It provides an additional layer of protection to brushing. It is a pale yellow-coloured gel that sets quickly when applied with a soft brush. It sets quickly, has a nice taste and smells like fruit. The varnish has been used as a preventive measure for caries since the 1980s in Canada, Western Europe, Scandinavian countries and South Africa.
Every tooth has pulp inside it which is soft and contains connective tissue and cells. When outer layers of the tooth are damaged, the pulp can become infected. To save the tooth, a pulpectomy is performed. This procedure is actually a part of the root canal process. A dentist will remove damaged pulp from the tooth and disinfect the area inside before filling it with inert material.
When a tooth is completely displaced from its socket due to trauma, it is called an avulsed tooth. It will have to be re-planted as quickly as possible so that it can be saved. When teeth are knocked out, the nerves, blood vessels and tissues are damaged too. This is why avulsed teeth need a root canal.
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