As children grow up, and baby teeth fall to accommodate permanent teeth, there are plenty of changes that happen in a child’s mouth that affects their oral hygiene and dental care. There is really no point crying over spilled milk, or in the case of children, crying over tooth caries, gum swelling and pain once the damage is already done.
Preventive dentistry is therefore a very important part of dental medicine. While the first step should always be about taking care of teeth, brushing regularly, rinsing mouth after eating, there is still a chance to salvage teeth and prevent their deterioration over time in children by the use of special dental treatments and techniques.
The effects of bad oral care and caries teeth are manifold, primary among them being children unable to attend school due to pain, development of gum inflammation, caries that leads to root canal and premature loss of teeth.
In order to prevent and control the spread of caries and the accumulation of food in children with irregular and pitted teeth, there are a few preventive methods and treatments that can help.
Regular dental checkups and examinations help to diagnose and treat disease before they become harmful to children. Periodic checkups can help pick up seemingly non-existent black specks on teeth, yellowing of teeth, eroding of the enamel and other such problems that signal the onset of tooth damage. Taking children to a paediatric dentist when they become ‘one’ and getting regular checkups done is the first step towards ensuring they don’t suffer from unwanted pain and discomfort thereafter.
In order to prevent food accumulating in pits and crevices of the tooth – especially molars – paediatric dentists often advise that teeth are sealed by a sealant or thin film. The main purpose of this is its prevention in food accumulation on teeth. However, this is only done on the doctor’s advise and as per the condition of the teeth. Molars are often chosen for this, since their location at the back of the mouth prevents the tooth brush from reaching them and cleaning up properly.
Flouride varnish is a highly concentrated form of fluoride applied to the tooth’s surface by the dentist. In cases where caries is especially bad and the child is threatened with loss of baby teeth, this application makes the teeth resistant to acid attacks by bacteria and food. This fluoride application is not a common methodology, and can only be done by a paediatric dentist when required in certain cases.
Dental treatments of any kind in children are only required, if their teeth undergoes significant damage. The above procedures help to arrest and sometime reverse further damage. Before it comes to this, the most important thing is to ensure regular brushing and dental hygiene is always followed.