Children’s teeth begin forming before they are even born. The first primary, or baby teeth, to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors. These are followed closely by the upper central incisors which come through around four months after birth. Although all twenty primary teeth have usually appeared by the time the child reaches three years old, the pace and order of eruption varies from child to child.
Permanent teeth start to come through around the age of six. This begins with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately age twenty-one.
Adults have twenty-eight permanent teeth, or up to thirty-two including the third molars (wisdom teeth). Oral care should begin soon after birth. You should always clean your infant’s gums after feeding. Gums should be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or gauze pad. Parents should brush children’s teeth daily with a soft wet toothbrush and a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When children are very young it is necessary to supervise their brushing to ensure proper brushing habits are adopted.
To prevent your child suffering from nursing bottle mouth, you must give your baby a bottle at nap or bed time. Fill the bottle with plain water and not milk, formula or juice. Dental sealants can provide a further layer of protection against cavities. They are plastic coatings which are painted onto the grooved chewing surfaces at the back of the teeth.
We recommend a first checkup by 12 months old to make certain that teeth and jaw development are normal, and even more importantly so that parents and guardians know how to help their children be healthy from the start.
Guidelines For Working With Children
- parents / guardians are always welcome in the room
- comfort is always our concern
- parent / guardian consent and guidance are vital, before any procedure
We recommend a first checkup by 12 months. A simple guide for when to schedule a first visit:
- no longer than 6 months after first tooth is erupted
- at least by 12 months old
- as soon as possible if you have any queries
There is a significant value for early well baby dental checkups. In particular, checkups for very young children address many concerns including teaching adults how to care for their child’s teeth and gums, how to help their children learn to care for themselves, answering parents questions and concerns, and planning for future dental health.
- Education and prevention are the cornerstones of our concern for the dental health of children. In addition to teaching parents and guardians about dental care for their child, checkups are an appropriate time to comfortably and easily evaluate:
- how many teeth are present
- are all teeth present
- loose teeth if any
- braces / bite evaluation
- cavity check
- check health of gums habit evaluation
- homecare / prevention
- fluoride use
- review diet
- address adult’s concerns
- Home Dental Care Tips
It is often difficult initially to brush your child’s teeth. They can really put up a struggle, screaming, kicking, crying, running away, not opening their mouths – every kid is different. Healthy teeth and gums are so important to start out life with. We’ve often heard the value of choosing your battles with your children, and this is one to choose. Remember that the initial challenge you face is actually more taxing on you than it ultimately is for your child.
Common Procedures Include
- 2-MIN FLUORIDE APPLICATIONS (For prevention from effects of chocolates; Colas; sticky foods on teeth)
- PIT & FISSURE SEALS (Most recommended way of caries prevention by blocking deep pits & fissures of teeth )
- FLUORIDE FILLINGS (for correction of cavities in milk& permanent teeth)
- ORTHODONTIC ASSESMENT (opinion from specialist Orthodontist whether your child needs Braces ?)
- HABIT BREAKING APPLIANCES (For correction of bad habits like Thumb-sucking; Mouth breathing; Tongue –thrusting)
- SPACE MAINTAINERS (To allow permanent tooth to erupt in place if milk tooth has shed off or extracted early.)
- SCALING & POLISHING OF TEETH (to prevent any gum problem)
- COLOURED GLITTERING FILLINGS (Latest Fashion Statement ! in fillings for kids)
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Baby Bottle Syndrome, or Nursing Bottle Mouth are all terms used to describe a dental condition, which involves the rapid decay of many or all the baby teeth of an infant or child.
The teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper front teeth. They are some of the first teeth to erupt and thus have the longest exposure time to the sugars in the bottle. The lower front teeth tend to be protected by the tongue as the child sucks on the nipple of the bottle or the breast. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is caused by frequent exposure of a child’s teeth for long periods of time to liquid containing sugars. When your baby falls asleep with:
- A bottle containing formula, milk or juice
- A pacifier dipped in honey
- While breast feeding
The liquid pools around the front teeth. During sleep, the bacteria living in every baby’s mouth, turns the milk sugar or other sugars to acid, which causes the decay.
Parents may not know there is a problem until serious damage has been done:
- Oral checks should be performed by parents to detect early signs of the disease.
- Brown spots along the gumline on your child’s teeth are signs which should alert you.
- If your child prefers soft foods, frowns or cries when eating cold, sweet, or hard foods, they should be checked for tooth decay.
By the time tooth decay is noticed it may be too late and crowns, pulp therapy, or even extraction of the decayed teeth may be necessary. As a result, your child may suffer from long term disorders, which include speech impediments, possible psychological damage, crooked or crowded teeth, and poor oral health.
- You can prevent this from happening to your child’s teeth by learning how to protect them.
- clean your child’s teeth daily
- never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle filled with juice, milk, or formula (or when awake, sip on it for long periods of time as a pacifier)
- start bottle weaning by at least a year
- give your child plain water for thirst
- make sure your child gets the fluoride needed to prevent decay
- have regular dental visits for your child beginning when their first tooth erupts
TIP: Cut back on sugary bottles by gradually watering them down until they are only water. Most children begin life with strong, healthy teeth. Help your child’s teeth stay that way. Your newborn is totally dependent upon you as a parent. The decisions you make will have a vital effect on your child’s dental future.
Oral Hygiene Information For Your Child
Should I clean my baby’s teeth?
Definitely. Even before the first tooth appears, use a soft, clean cloth to wipe your baby’s gums and cheeks after feeding. As soon as the first tooth appears, begin using a small, soft bristled tooth brush to clean the tooth after eating. Don’t cover the brush with toothpaste. Young children tend to swallow most of the toothpaste, and swallowing too much fluoridated toothpaste can cause permanent spots on their teeth called dental fluorosis.
I find brushing my child’s teeth awkward. Any suggestions?
Try having your child lie down. Put your child on your lap or on the floor, keeping his/her head steady with your legs. If your child is standing, have his/her back to you with their head tilted slightly and resting against your body. Have your child hold a mirror while you brush and floss their teeth so your child can see what is being done.
Is it important to brush before bed?
Yes. If you have to miss a brushing, the bedtime one is probably the worst one to miss. If you don’t get rid of the bacteria and sugar that cause cavities, they have all night to do harm. While you are awake, saliva helps keep the mouth clean. When you are asleep, there is less saliva produced to clean the mouth. For this reason it is important to brush before bedtime.
How to brush your child’s teeth?
Every day plaque forms on the inner, outer, and chewing surface of teeth and the gums. Tooth brushing is one of the most effective ways to remove the plaque. The best kind of toothbrush to use is one with soft, round-tipped bristles.
A child will need a smaller brush than an adult.
Young children do not have the manual dexterity to brush properly. Your child will need your supervision and help brushing until he or she is 8-10 years old to ensure a thorough brushing has been done.
When the bristles become bent or frayed, a new brush is needed.
Start flossing your child’s teeth when the teeth touch each other and you can no longer brush in between them.