Pediatric Dentistry – treatment and prevention of dental diseases of children.

When to take the child to the dentist? The best time for a first visit is between the 18th and 24th month. Dentists recommend that parents shouldn’t wait until the child’s second year, because dental problems can arise even earlier. Children at that age are prone to the "pacifier syndrome" and other harmful habits, for example finger sucking. Acting in consultation with a specialist a program can be worked out to prevent further problems.

Before the first visit tell your child what to expect, for example, what instruments there will be in the dentist’s surgery, what the doctor’s job is, etc. without creating a fearsome image. Usually for young children the first visit is an "exploration visit" - the dentist will try to gain the child’s trust. The dentist will carry out a complete examination of the mouth, gums and teeth.

If you decide the dentist can clean your child’s teeth gently to remove plaque.

If all goes well the dentist will show and explain to your child how to brush his/her teeth and how important mouth hygiene is.

The dentist will finally decide if the child’s teeth need additional fluoridation.

Caring for children's teeth at home::

1. Children's gums should be cleaned gently with a clean gauze.

2. Teeth should be cleaned with a small toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste as soon as they have cut.

3. Do not let your child fall asleep with a pacifier. Liquids, such as milk and juice that remain in the mouth at night can worsen the condition of the gums and teeth.

4. Teach your child to wash his/her teeth twice a day, especially in the evening.

5. Show your child how you take care of his/her teeth and he/she will also learn how important it is to maintain good hygiene.

A few words about fluoride. When children start to brush their own teeth it is important to observe how much toothpaste they use. The recommended amount is as much as a pea. You must make sure that the child has learned to rinse and spit the toothpaste foam, not swallow it. It can be dangerous if the child constantly swallows toothpaste because there is a risk of fluorosis which can damage the permanent teeth. It is necessary to check how much fluoride there is in drinking water. If it is enough, there is no need of additional fluoride intake. On this issue, consult your dentist.

Tooth cutting. Milk teeth begin to cut around the 6th month and continue until the age of three. Around the sixth year the permanent teeth start to replace the milk ones. The process sometimes causes discomfort and some of the following symptoms:

- excess salivation

- bubbles around the cutting tooth

- temperature

- anxiety

- disturbed sleep

There are several ways to help your child during that period:

- Rub with a clean finger

- Give the child rubber rings to chew

- Feed your child properly

Consult your doctor whenever the temperature is increased, or edema or signs of infection appear.

Thumb sucking

Thumb sucking is a common habit. It has been proved that many babies suck their fingers even before they were born. It is believed that this habit is the babies’ way to relax and feel secure. This habit can lead to serious dental problems if it continues after the teeth have cut. It is especially dangerous if it continues after the fifth year when the permanent teeth begin to appear. They can cut in a wrong position and cause orthodontic deformities. Usually this habit disappears at school age due to the taunts of other children. But if the child continues you must take measures. Tell your child that his peers no longer suck their fingers and consult a specialist. The most important thing is not to punish the child and make him/her feel scared.



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