Almost all milk teeth are ready under the gums when babies are born. When the baby is 6 months old, the milk teeth begin to erupt in a certain order. Some babies may have earlier or later teething times, which is normal. The first teeth to appear in babies are the lower front teeth. Following these, two more of the lower anterior teeth erupt along with the upper four teeth. After that, the teeth slowly take their place in the mouth, usually on both sides of the jaws. When the baby is 36 months old, there should be 20 milk teeth in his mouth.
Oral and dental health awareness gained in childhood is an extremely important issue that affects public health. Today, preventive medicine has gained importance in dentistry, as it is in every field of medicine. The branch of science in which all kinds of treatment and preventive dentistry procedures applied to children are performed is called pedodontics.
Pedodontics is basically divided into 2 parts. The first is to treat the existing problems; The second is to prevent problems that may occur in advance. In other words, it covers preventive and curative medicine.
Part of the treatment; routine dental service. The part covering the preventive treatment is mostly aimed at preventing the problems that will cause the loss of teeth.
What are these if we say; Fissure sealants, fluoride applications, space-holding appliances are different treatments that can be counted.
Even in infancy, from the first moment the teeth appear in the mouth, attention should be paid to dental cleaning, and teeth should be wiped with a moist gauze or cheesecloth after each feeding. Toothbrush use should be started with the eruption of the posterior teeth. Young children are known to swallow a large portion of the paste while brushing. For this reason, the use of putty should be started after the age of 3, and the putties should be chosen from those produced for children. Since it is very difficult for pre-school children to brush with the right technique, the important thing in this period is to gain the habit of brushing under the control of the family.
Nutrition also plays an important role in child dental health. Foods such as colorful candies, cola drinks and chocolate that children love very much affect the health of the body as well as decaying the teeth. Instead of this type of food, a diet with protein, fresh vegetables and fruits should be preferred.
PROTECTIVE DENTISTRY PRACTICES IN CHILDREN:
· Systemic or topical (superficial) fluoride applications: The aim of these applications is to prevent decay by strengthening the enamel layer of the teeth that have not yet erupted and whose mineralization continues.
· Fissure sealants: In the mixed dentition period (6-12 years old), families cannot distinguish between milk and permanent teeth in the mouth, and 6-year-old teeth, which are located in the posterior region without any tooth loss and cannot be easily cleaned due to having deep fissures, decay at an advanced level without even realizing it. With the fissure sealant application, the deep fissures of the teeth are covered, thus reducing the accumulation of bacteria and food.
· Placeholders: The place of the milk teeth lost early due to various reasons such as caries or trauma can be protected with placeholders. He knows. Otherwise, bigger problems may be encountered in later ages. When the primary tooth is lost early, two situations can occur until the permanent tooth erupts:
1-The teeth on both sides of the extraction area can be bent or rotate to close this gap. This is the bottom It may cause the permanent tooth to erupt from a different place or remain impacted.
2- The tooth opposite the extraction area may extend into this space.
Placeholders prevent the extraction space from being closed by other teeth and maintain this space until the permanent tooth erupts, ensuring that the permanent tooth erupts in the ideal position.
It prevents orthodontic problems that may occur in the future. As it prevents crowding, it keeps the teeth in the ideal position and, in addition to a beautiful tooth array, it minimizes the risk of tooth brushing and tooth decay in the interfaces.
placeholders; can be made of metal or plastic. It is prepared in two ways as fixed placeholders and mobile placeholders according to the number and localization of prematurely lost primary teeth. After the oral measurement is taken by the dentist, the technician prepares the appropriate placeholder in the laboratory environment. Then the prepared placeholder is adapted to the patient’s mouth by the dentist. The patient uses the placeholder under the control of the physician and when the primary tooth erupts, the placeholder must be removed by the physician.
Fixed placeholders are made in the absence of a single tooth. Three months after the date of insertion, it is necessary to come to the control. If there is a problem such as moving or coming out of the placeholder during use, the physician should be informed immediately.
Movable placeholders are removable appliances. It is performed in the absence of more than one milk tooth. It should be removed while eating, and the placeholder should be brushed while brushing the teeth. It should be removed at night and stored in water. If there is any problem with the placeholder, a doctor should be consulted, and three months after the insertion, a control should be made.
THERAPEUTIC DENTISTRY APPLICATIONS IN CHILDREN
· Filling : It is the removal of caries and the placement of a special substance that can function in its place in accordance with the shape of the tooth.
· Amputation: It is a common treatment method for milk teeth. In cases where the carious tissue of the tooth reaches the nerve, it is the removal of a part of the vascular nerve package affected by the caries along with the caries. Since a part of the nerve is removed, the tooth can remain alive and continue its task in the mouth for a while.
· Root canal treatment: It is the removal of the entire package of vessels and nerves affected by the caries of the advanced decay and infected tooth and filling it with the appropriate filling material. Thus, the tooth is saved from being pulled out and can remain in the mouth until the permanent tooth erupts.
Never forget this: Even if your child does not have cavities in his mouth, you can both prevent caries formation with preventive applications and prevent bigger problems that may occur in the future with early diagnosis by bringing them to regular check-ups every 6 months.
It is in your hands for your child to grow up healthy, have a beautiful smile and, more importantly, overcome the fear of the dentist…