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FAQ at the Toothland Clinic
 

 

When should be the first dental visit for my child?

 

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

 

How can baby bottle tooth decay be prevented?

 

Are primary (baby) teeth important?

 

When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?

 

When will my child’s teeth erupt?

 

How can I keep my child cavity free?

 

What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out or chipped?

 

What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?

 

What should I do if a permanent tooth is chipped or fractured?

 

Is it possible to get too much fluoride?

 

Is thumb sucking harmful?

 

How can I help my child to stop sucking?

 

My child’s permanent teeth are coming behind the baby teeth what should I do?

 

Do space maintainers require any special care?

 

 


 

When should be the first dental visit for my child?

 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first visit to be at the time your child’s first birthday.  It may seem too early but Dr. Nora can make sure that you are using the right cleaning techniques and she can also determine if there are any problems with your child’s primary teeth.

 

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What is baby bottle tooth decay?

 

Teeth destroyed by bottle decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a dental condition that can cause a lot of pain and suffering in small children.  It is a condition that destroys the teeth of an infant or young child.  This condition can be caused by the frequent exposure of a child’s teeth for long periods of time to liquids containing sugars.  Among these are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice, sodas and other sweetened liquids.

 

When a baby is put to bed with a bottle, the liquid drips into the mouth continuously.  It collects around the teeth as long as the bottle is in the mouth.  It is not what the children drink, but how often and for how long their teeth are exposed  to decay-causing acids.  That is why frequently offering your child a bottle containing sugary liquid as a pacifier, or allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle during naps or at night can do serious harm to the teeth.  The most likely teeth to be damaged are the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

 

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How can baby bottle tooth decay be prevented?

 

Never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle containing sugary liquids or a pacifier dipped in sugar or honey.  You can use a bottle with water if the child needs a comforter.  Start cleaning the baby's teeth early and wipe the gums with a clean gauze or a wet towel after each feeding.  And check your child’s teeth regularly.  

 

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Are primary (baby) teeth important?

 

Primary teeth are very important and should be maintained until they are lost naturally.  They are important for chewing and therefore keeping good nutrition for your child. They are important in promoting good speech habits and right pronunciation and also for your child’s self esteem.  Primary teeth also help guide the permanent teeth to erupt in their natural position.

 

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When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?

 

It should start as early as possible. You should begin cleaning your baby’s mouth on the first day of life.  Wipe the mouth gently and massage the gum pads after each feeding before bedtime with a damp gauze pad wrapped around your finger or a damp wash cloth.  Hold  your baby so that its head rests comfortably in your lap, this will aid stability and provide better visibility.  Then as the first tooth erupts a small soft  brush should be used and later with the use of a small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush.  Avoid sending your child to bed with a baby bottle unless it is water only.

 

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When will my child’s teeth erupt?

 

Teeth start forming inside the gums even before birth.  As early as four months teeth can start erupting and the first ones to come in are the two lower anterior incisors (front teeth) then the two upper ones and then the twenty baby teeth continue to erupt almost till age three.  The sequence and rate can vary with every child.

 

The permanent teeth start appearing at the age of six, starting with the six year molars behind the baby molars and the lower front teeth.  Adults have 28 teeth without the wisdom molars and a total of 32 with the wisdom teeth.

 

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How can I keep my child cavity free?

 

By brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.  You should help brush and floss your child's teeth at least once a day until it is capable of doing it alone around age seven or eight.  By also making sure that your child is getting enough fluoride through water intake, fluoride products, and if necessary through fluoride supplements.

 

Sealants should be placed on the chewing surfaces of the back permanent molars as soon as they come in, and your child should not snack more than twice a day with healthy snacks.

 

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What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out or chipped?

 

Contact the Toothland Clinic as soon as possible. Baby teeth are usually not put back in the mouth but we should see your child to determine if any roots remain or any teeth or other structures have been injured.

  

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What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?

 

Find  the tooth and rinse it with only water do not scrub it or use soap.  If possible place the tooth back in its socket and hold it there with a clean towel or gauze.  If you can not put it back place the tooth in a clean container with milk, saliva or water and come to the Toothland Clinic immediately.  If it is after hours call Dr. Nora's home number (06/566 7564).  The quicker you act the better the chances of saving the tooth.

 

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What should I do if a permanent tooth is chipped or fractured?

 

Contact the Toothland Clinic immediately.  Quick action can save the tooth, prevent infections and can prevent extensive dental treatment.  Rinse the mouth and apply cold compresses to reduce swelling.  If you can find the fragment bring it with you to the office it can be bonded back to the tooth.

  

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Is it possible to get too much fluoride?

 

Of course.  It is a condition that is called fluorosis.  Dr. Nora can assess the amount of fluoride your child is receiving from drinking water, toothpastes, mouth rinses, and in-office fluoride treatments and see weather the child is in need for additional dietary fluoride supplements.  The very small percentage of children the develop dental fluorosis consume over fluoridated on a regular bases or eat their toothpaste.

 

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Is thumb sucking harmful?

 

Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can lead to problems with the normal growth and development of the mouth and tooth alignment.  And it all depends on the intensity of how the child is sucking.  Children that rest their thumbs passively are less likely to develop problems.  Children should stop sucking by the time their front permanent teeth start erupting by age six.

 

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How can I help my child to stop sucking?

 

By praising your child when it is not sucking and not by scolding it.  By focusing on what is causing your child’s anxiety that is leading it to suck.  By providing comfort to your child so it will feel less in need to suck for comfort.  Reward your child when it is not sucking. Create a calendar and use a reward system with your child by keeping track of the days that it is sucking and the days it is not sucking.  Try to remind your child of its habits by putting a glove on the hand or a band aid.  There is also a thumb habit appliance that can be made at the dentist to discourage the use of the thumb.

 

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My child’s permanent teeth are coming behind the baby teeth what should I do?

 

 50% of children have their teeth come behind the baby teeth.  Let your child keep on wiggling the baby teeth until they become loose and fall out naturally.  If after some time the baby teeth are not moving then contact the Toothland Clinic to remove the primary teeth.

 

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Do space maintainers require any special care?

 

Avoid hard and sticky foods.  Teeth should be brushed after each meal and the teeth with the bands especially.  Once a day, a fluoride mouthwash should be used to help prevent decalcification of the teeth around the band and wire.  Do not try to bend the wire for any reason with finger or tongue and if the bands come loose or the space maintainer is damaged in any way, contact the Toothland Clinic .

 


If you have any other questions, please contact Dr. Nora by clicking this link.