Child dentistry or pediatric dentistry, is a speciality that is associated with oral health of children from infancy to adolescence. Problems like tooth decay is more common in children as they cannot take care of their own teeth properly. And, this makes child dentistry an important branch because baby teeth make space for adult teeth and if they are destroyed there will be no guide for permanent teeth which may result in crowded or crooked teeth. It also involves educating parents regarding the oral hygiene of their children.
What are the common oral problems faced by children?
Baby bottle tooth decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is caused due to frequent contact of baby’s teeth with sugars from milk, fruit juices or any other sweet drink. This can be prevented by avoiding sugar in baby’s food and not putting the baby to sleep with a bottle filled with sugary drinks.
It is normal in infants but if continued beyond 5 years, may cause problems for permanent teeth. It may cause misalignment of teeth, problem with pronunciation etc. The child should be encouraged to stop sucking. The thumb should be taken out from the mouth when the child falls asleep. If this doesn’t work, dental appliance can be worn by the child.
Lip sucking is holding the lower lip repeatedly beneath the upper front teeth. This results in problems same as those associated with thumb sucking.
Premature tooth loss
This can occur due to tooth decay, injury or lack of jaw space. The space created causes the nearby teeth to shift decreasing the room for the permanent tooth. This causes misalignment. A plastic or metal device known as space maintainer is used to hold open the space. It is removed when permanent teeth start to erupt.
Tooth decay and cavity
It is more common in children as the enamel is not strong enough and the damage is caused quickly