Date of update: 2023-02-21 11:13:45

Pedodontics (Pediatric Dentistry)

Pedodontics is the branch of science related to the structure, diseases, preventive and curative treatment of children's oral and dental region and lower facial region. Dentists dealing with children's dental health are called "pedodontists".

When do teeth start to erupt?

In infants, the first tooth erupts at approximately 6 months of age. However, delays in tooth eruption or early tooth eruption can often be observed. Delayed eruption of teeth is usually associated with genetic predisposition; however, systemic diseases that delay tooth eruption should not be ignored. These diseases are thyroid, parathyroid and growth hormone deficiencies that generally inhibit growth and development.

Newborn babies have tooth buds. At birth, the buds (jerms) of all primary teeth and the first permanent molars (six year old teeth) have already formed.

Teeth will erupt between 4-8 months:

If there are slight ridges on the upper incisors, these areas indicate that the upper right and left lateral incisors are erupting. The upper and lower central incisors have erupted. The order of eruption is first the upper central incisors, then the upper lateral incisors, then the lower lateral incisors.

Teeth that will erupt between 8-11 months: All upper and lower central and lateral incisors have erupted.

Teeth that will erupt between 11-15 months: All the upper and lower central incisors have erupted, the upper lateral incisors erupt 12 months before the lower lateral incisors, and then the first milk molars begin to erupt.

Teeth that will erupt between 15-21 months: When the child is 18 months old, milk canines begin to erupt.

Teeth that will erupt between one and a half - two and a half years of age:

The second milk molars of the lower and upper jaws have also erupted. The root calcification of milk teeth is completed one year after the crowns erupt. The permanent first molar erupts at the age of six. The six year old tooth erupts at the age of 6, behind the existing milk teeth. Children and parents often confuse six year old teeth with milk teeth. Only the chewing side of these teeth may remain unerupted for months before they erupt fully. Food deposits cause decay and sometimes gingivitis occurs.

What are the symptoms of tooth eruption in children?

During the eruption of milk teeth, a number of general and localized changes are observed in babies. These include loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, restlessness, increased saliva flow, itching and redness in the gum area.

There is no treatment method to eliminate these symptoms. However, dental gel can be used to help the baby feed comfortably and relieve pain. Some syrups and teething products can also be used to relieve itching.

When should your child's first visit to the pedodontist be?

Children should be taken to the dentist for a check-up after the first tooth erupts. After that, the visit to the dentist should be repeated every 6 months for a check-up. The clinical examination of the child by the dentist has two stages:

Stage 1: External Oral Examination

In the head-face examination, the size, shape and proportions of this region are observed. Any swelling, asymmetry, lower jaw retardation or lower jaw progression in children older than six years of age are examined. Palpation and inspection of the swelling, determination of softness and lymph examination should be performed. In the eye, nose and sinus examination, exophthalmos, blue sclera, droopy eyelid and nasal congestion should be evaluated.

Stage 2: Intraoral Examination

This examination includes the examination of the teeth and soft tissues when the mouth is open and the observations made when the teeth are in the closing position.The examination begins with an internal and external examination of the lips.Then the buccal mucosa, frenulum, hard palate, pharynx, sublingual, region and tongue are examined.It is checked for discoloration, acute and chronic acarca (fistula) or swelling.

Dentist's recommendations for parents?

Parents are informed about the child's oral and dental health. It is recommended to have the child examined by a pedodontist or dentist every six months.

What should be done if a permanent tooth erupts while the milk tooth is in the mouth?

On intraoral examination, it is most commonly seen in the lower front teeth. "Ectopic eruption" is the abnormal eruption of a tooth. Permanent incisors and canines are prone to ectopic eruption. This can cause early root eruption of the deciduous incisors. Early eruption of the posterior roots of the second molars is another example of ectopic eruption.

Ectopic eruption is usually seen between the ages of 5 and 8. If a 7-year-old child has missing deciduous canines or unerupted permanent molars, eruption is suspected.

Ectopic eruption of the lower front teeth resolves spontaneously when the milk incisors fall out or are removed. There are many treatment options for ectopic teeth, from simple braces placed between the teeth to orthodontic appliances. Displacement forces are applied to the teeth so that the teeth erupt from the appropriate places. For this purpose, the child is referred to the dentist.

When should brushing teeth start?

Dental care starting in infancy is the first step in establishing the preventive education and dental care that will be necessary throughout life. The microorganism group that causes tooth decay is generally considered to be "StreptococusMutans", which is thought to be passed from mother to child between 9 and 36 months of age. Therefore, the dental health of the child and the dental health of the mother are very closely related. Oral care in babies should start with the eruption of the first tooth.

Mouth and teeth cleaning should be done by the mother with a clean piece of cloth. Toothbrushes can be used in children from the age of 1. Considering that the child cannot rinse the mouth, tooth brushing can be done without toothpaste or using children's pastes with low fluorine content. If it is considered that the child is unable to perform effective tooth cleaning, the toothbrush must be used by the parents. Following tooth brushing, the tongue surface should also be brushed.

During the first examination, the medical and dental history of the baby is listened to. The patient is guided according to the effects of development, fluoride requirement, habits other than normal nutrition (bottle, pacifier, etc.), protection from trauma, oral hygiene and eating habits on the teeth. The first visit to the pediatric dentist or dentist is important in terms of obtaining information that may be useful for the baby throughout life.

What are the precautions to be taken in tooth decay in children?

The first thing to do to prevent tooth decay is to have good oral hygiene. For this purpose, teeth should be brushed at least 3 times a day for 2 minutes each. Dental floss and mouthwashes can only be used after the age of 5 according to the dentist's recommendation as an aid to toothbrushing. One of the proven methods to prevent tooth decay is the application of "fluorine".