Deciduous teeth are the first teeth that appear in a child’s mouth and are commonly referred to as “baby teeth” or “milk teeth”. Children can face various dental problems during their development years. Some of them include:
- Dental trauma: Children are more susceptible to falls and injury due to their curiosity and lack of motor coordination. Falls and injury can lead to dental trauma to the baby teeth. Dental trauma refers to an injury to the teeth and the supporting structures as a result of a fall, automobile accident or any other blow to the face.
- Baby bottle caries:Baby bottle caries is the presence of severe caries (cavities) in infants or young children. It is a very common bacterial infection. It is also known as “early childhood caries”, or “nursing caries”.
- Teething problems: Teething is a normal process of teeth erupting through the gums in infants. As the tooth penetrates the gums, the area appears red and swollen. This condition makes the baby irritable and the baby attempts to bite down on a hard object in order to relieve pain. Treatment of these conditions will depend on the type of problem. Dental trauma is treated based on which part of the tooth has undergone trauma. Treatment for baby bottle caries will vary depending on which stage of caries is present. Teething problems can be solved by offering your child teething rings or healthy food like apples or raw carrots to chew on.
- Extraction of Primary teeth (baby teeth): This is the removal of the whole tooth and its root, with as less injury as possible. It is done with the help of small forceps that are specially designed for the small mouth. Anesthesia is given so the child feels no pain during the procedure.
- Frenectomy: This is a procedure which involves the removal of the tissue fold that connects the lips or tongue to the jawbone. Sometimes the frenulum is attached too high on the gums, causing space between the two upper front teeth. Or the frenulum is attached too close to the tip of the tongue. In either case, a frenectomy is performed surgically to prevent interference in mouth development
- Treatment of infections: Dental infections such as acute dental abscess, chronic dental abscess and chronic apical periodontitis may require minor oral surgery. Your oral surgeon makes an incision over the infected tissue and drains the pus.
Some of the important tips you should follow to keep your child’s teeth in good health include:
- Follow a regular tooth cleaning routine for your child to maintain good dental health
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts
- Make sure your child brushes the teeth properly
- Start taking your child to a dentist for a routine visit when they are about 2 years old
- Enquire about having fissure sealants or fluoride varnish for your child’s teeth to prevent tooth decay