When should I take my child to the dentist?
It is recommended that children should go to the dentist with their parents possibly as soon as baby teeth appear. This will let them get used to the dental clinic environment and prepare them for future visits. The earlier these visits start, the more relaxed the children will be.
When will my child's teeth appear?
First (or 'baby' or ‘milk') teeth usually start to appear when your child is around 6 months old. Some kids will get their teeth earlier than others. Girls tend to get their teeth earlier than boys. All twenty baby teeth should appear latest by the age of three years.
The first permanent 'adult' molars (back teeth) will appear at about 6 years, before the first baby teeth start to fall out at about 6 to 7. It is usually the lower front teeth that are lost first, followed by the upper front teeth shortly after. All the milk teeth should have been replaced by the permanent teeth latest by the age of 14 years.
How should I clean my child's teeth?
Cleaning your child's teeth should be part of their daily hygiene routine. You may find it easier to stand or sit behind your child, cradling their chin in your hand so you can reach their top and bottom teeth more easily.
When the first teeth start to appear you may use a clean cloth or try using a toothbrush designed for children, with a small smear of toothpaste designed for kids.
It is important to supervise your child's brushing until they are at least seven. It’s recommended to brush at least three times a day .Night brushing is critical
Once all the teeth have appeared, use a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles in small, circular movements and try to concentrate on one section at a time.
Don't forget to brush gently behind the teeth and onto the gums.
Remember to encourage your child, as praise will often get results!
Should I use fluoride toothpaste?
This is a big question here in Kenya since most of the areas have high fluoride levels especially in parts of the Rift Valley. Your children's teeth can get fluoride in a number of different ways, including from toothpaste, specific fluoride applications and perhaps the drinking water in your area. These can all help to prevent tooth decay. If you are unsure about how much fluoride levels you have in your area, kindly check with your local dental team. You should make sure that they do not swallow any toothpaste while they are brushing.
What sort of brush should children use?
There are many different types of children's toothbrushes in the market .Most supermarkets have a wide range to choose from.
What could cause my child to have toothache?
Toothache is painful and upsetting, especially in children, and the main cause is tooth decay. This is due to too much sugar, too often, in the diet. Analgesics from the pharmacy would come in handy as you organize to get the child checked by the dentist.
Teething is another problem. It starts at around 6 months, and it can continue when the adult teeth start to appear. There are teething rings that can be bought from the supermarket to help massage the gums and dental gels to help ease the pain.
How can I prevent tooth decay in my child?
The main cause of tooth decay is not the amount of sugar or acid in the diet, but how often it is eaten or drunk. The more often your child has sugary or acidic foods or drinks, the more likely they are to have decay. So it is important to have sugary and acidic foods just at mealtimes. If you want to give your child a snack, try vegetables and fruits. Limit how much dried fruit you give as it is high in sugar and can stick to the teeth.
Don't give them drinks containing sugars, including fruit juices, between meals. Give them water or milk instead. For babies, don't add sugar to their drinks, or to foods when you introduce them to solids.
It is also worth remembering that some processed baby foods contain quite a lot of sugar. Try checking the list of ingredients: the higher up the list sugar is, the more there is in the product. Generally anything ending in ‘ose' is a sugar, for example: fructose, glucose, lactose or sucrose. Thorough brushing is key.
What if my child is very nervous about going to the dentist?
Children can sense fear in their parents, so it is important not to let your child feel that a visit to the dental team is something to be worried about. Try to be supportive if your child needs to have any dental treatment. If you have any fears of your own about going to the dentist, don't let your child hear you talk about them. It is very important for the parents to be in total control.
Regular visits to the dental team are essential in helping your child get used to the surroundings and what happens there. A child can be much more anxious if it is their first visit to a dental practice. Pain and distress can happen at any time and it is important to prepare your child with regular visits.
Why it happens
Kids suck their thumbs because it's comforting and calming. Your preschooler probably practiced this habit while he/she was still in the womb and perfected it as an infant.
Now the kid turns to thumb sucking when tired, stressed, scared, bored, sick, or trying to adjust to challenges such as starting daycare or preschool. Also the kid uses it to lull him/her to sleep since it is soothing.
What to do about thumb-sucking
Don't worry too much since most children can safely suck their thumb without damaging the alignment of their teeth or jaws – until their permanent teeth begin to appear. (Permanent teeth don't usually start to erupt until around age 6.) .It is important though to get the dentist’s advice if this habit continues after four years. The dentist then decides whether it will be necessary to intervene by introducing a habit breaker to discourage the habit.
This section will not be complete without making a quick mention of braces. The key point to highlight is that teeth alignment can start as early as the problem is identified. This is the current trend; it used to be advised that correction of misaligned teeth waits till after 12 years of age. This thinking has shifted. For further reading go to Dental Braces under services tab
A dental sealant is a kind of protective coating, which is made up of tinted or transparent plastic. It is painted onto the chewing areas of the back teeth (both premolars and molars), where the possibility of cavity formation is more in comparison to other regions of the teeth.
Premolars and molars have pits and fissures in them, where the food particles normally get stuck. Some of the fissures present on the surface are so deep that the bristles of the toothbrush are unable to reach them. These holes and gaps on the surface of the teeth provide an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and generate cavities. The function of these dental sealants is to prevent the happening of the same. The dentists put a thin cover of dental sealant over these pits and fissures and food cannot accumulate in them.
The major application of sealants is on children’s teeth to prevent cavities at an early age. They are not only effective in function but are affordable as well. They cost well less than the amount spent on filling the cavities. It is advised by quite a few dentists that sealants should be applied on each molar teeth as soon as possible. It is important that while going for the application of sealants, the concerned tooth must be kept dry and free of saliva. If your child is facing a high threat of cavities, then it is best to seal pre-molars with sealants, along with molars.
This kind of process of sealing the teeth is not advisable for baby teeth. It is common with children although adults do get them as well. In adults it is confined to cases, where there is high risk of dental problems.
The application of sealants is not a complex process. It consists of a simple, quick and painless procedure. In this case, no preparation is required to be done in advance and can be concluded during a normal dental visit. There is no shots involved in the whole process either and that is the reason why children are not reluctant to go for a dental sealing procedure when compared to other dental treatments.
Before the application of sealant, the dentist cleans the affected area to remove particles of food, if there is any. It is important that there should not be any kind of wetness on the surface of teeth, so that it can properly stick to the surface of teeth. It is applied in liquid form, so that it can easily cover all pits and fissures. The sealant normally sets in its place within the time period of 20 to 60 seconds. If it does not set within that period of time, then it is set with the help of a special light.
Studies reveal that they are capable of lasting for a long time; sometimes they stay even for a fortnight. But as they are made of plastic, they are not durable for a very long period of time. If your child is going for it, then it is important to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. It is vital to get the right amount of fluoride during the treatment period and frequent visit to the dentist’s place is also important.
pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry which specializes in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of teeth in children who are under the age of 16. In this age bracket we concentrate mostly on prevention, which includes instruction in proper diet, use of fluoride if necessary, and practice of good oral hygiene. Treatment deals basically with caries (tooth decay) but includes influencing tooth alignment. Lengthy treatment may be required to correct incipient abnormalities in tooth position. Braces or other correctional devices may be used.
Negligence in oral health care in children leads to tooth decay which results in decreased school performance and social relationships. Hence Oral care should begin soon after the child's birth as there is nothing more beautiful than a child's smile. This beautiful smile needs a proper care and attention.
Dental Emergencies like dental pain can be quite annoying to the patient and needs to be addressed on priority. We understand the state of mind of the patient in such pain and strive to alleviate the patient of all the discomfort on priority as is desirable. Patient need not take an appointment in such cases and can walk-in to ask for the much needed relief.
Fractures of teeth, loss of teeth due to accidental trauma are given the emergency treatment prescribed and then is scheduled for comprehensive treatment if needed after careful evaluation and planning. Services of qualified oral surgeons are arranged if the case demands.
Tooth loss, in most people, is associated to a number of factors. Some of these factors that cause tooth loss are tooth decay, gum disease or periodontal disease, injury and aging. Research done on a large group of adults, to study the increase in the number of people with one or more teeth missing revealed that more than half the group fell in this category.
Most of those with missing teeth did not bother to get a tooth replacement done because of not understanding the underlying problem of a missing tooth. Just twenty five percent were aware of the fact that the loss of a tooth could wear out the bones of the jaw causing a change in structure of the jaw line.
Consequences Of A Single Tooth Loss
Studies show that a single tooth loss could have many repercussions some of which are mentioned below:
Treatment Of Tooth Loss:
There are many ways to treat tooth loss, the most effective of which is dental implant. Dental implant is an alternate method to replace a missing tooth. Here an artificial ‘tooth root’ is used. These tooth roots are the basis for the artificial teeth that are either permanently fixed or can be removed. They are made to look similar to natural teeth.
Dental implant is the most preferred treatment for tooth loss for a single tooth or for more than one tooth. This is because it has shown a 98 percent success rate. Medical tests show that dental implant is most successful treatment as a replacement for lost teeth. Secondly, this surgical method allows for minimum bone loss that is why it is favored over other forms of treatment.
Dental Implant Failures due to Smoking
The introduction of dental implants to dentistry revolutionized the way people treated lost teeth. They are preferred by many and are on their way to replace dentures as they are better, comfortable and appeal aesthetically. Although, the high cost of a dental implant is still a deterrent to many, it is a blessing for many who are looking for a suitable replacement for their lost teeth.
Basically, the lost tooth is replaced by an implant which is made up of a material which closely resembles natural teeth.
A titanium screw is inserted in to the jaw bone to which it fuses (osseointegration). This titanium screw serves as an anchor point which supports the entire artificial tooth. The artificial tooth is coated with hydroxypatite which is also present in natural tooth.
Now, coming to the effects of smoking on dental implants.
Studies have found out that smoking increases the probability of rejection of a dental implant by the human body.
Although, rejection of a dental implant occurs in few cases, smoking increases this risk considerably. This finding is not completely new though. Many dentists have reported lower success rates of dental implants in smokers.
Let us now look at the reason for this failure. An ideal candidate for the implant procedure requires good healing and blood flow to make sure the gums heal properly. Smoking considerably affects the healing ability of the body and reduces the blood flow as well. Good blood flow is required for effective healing of the gum tissue. Due to this various factors, the likelihood for rejection of the implant increases.
It’s just not the implants that are affected by smoking. Other dental procedures such as tooth extraction and dental fillings (restorations were also effected).
The good part is that kicking this habit reduces these effects. The healing ability and blood flow slowly begins to return to normal levels and few studies have showed that normal levels can be regained after several years of quitting.
What is gum disease?
Gum-disease Periodontal diseases are serious bacterial infections which destroy the attachment fibres and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can and do lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one reason why people over the age of 50 lose teeth. Periodontal infection can affect your general health and hence it is important to control.
How does gum disease occur?
Gum disease is caused by build-up of bacteria in plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Regular brushing & flossing and hygienist treatment can remove this build up and prevent gum disease from progressing. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will cause irritation to the gums, making them swell up and bleed. This is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible and is resolved by excellent at-home care and hygienist treatment.If gingivitis is not treated and the plaque continually builds up, you will be at risk of periodontitis. This is when the fibres around the tooth are damaged by the increase in bacteria, resulting in pockets and ultimately bone loss around the tooth. Periodontitis is a serious and irreversible condition that can lead to tooth loss.
What is treatment like?
If you have gingivitis, we recommend that you visit us for regular professional cleaning.
If you have periodontitis, a full initial assessment will be carried out to assist in planning a course of treatment specifically tailored to your needs. Scaling-and-PlaningTreatment will depend on how far the disease has developed. Typically, you will undergo in-depth cleaning – a treatment known as “root debridement”. This may require several appointments. Typical cases last from 3 months to 1 year, but for some people, a lifetime commitment may be required.In advanced cases, root debridement is not sufficient to achieve optimal results. In this case, surgical treatment.
To reduce discomfort, all periodontal procedures are completed under local anaesthetic and/or conscious sedation. There may be some post-operative discomfort which you will be advised how to manage by our team.
How can I take care of my new smile?
It is critical that throughout your treatment and following treatment that you maintain a high level of oral hygiene.
You can do this by:
1) Regular brushing; recommended 3 times per day
2) Using fluoride alcohol-free mouth wash daily
3) Using inter-dental brushes daily
4) Eating plenty of fruit & maintain a healthy low-sugar diet; avoid sticky sweets, biscuits, gum, fizzy drinks etc.
5) Visiting your dentist regularly
Your new smile will enhance your appearance, increase your confidence and improve your dentition. Please look after your new smile as a lack of conscientious care can lead to staining, decay, gum problems and many more complications..
This is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. It can also focus on modifying facial growth, known as dentofacial orthopedics.
Abnormal alignment of the teeth and jaws is common, nearly 30% of the population has malocclusions severe enough to benefit from orthodontic treatment. Treatment can take several months to a few years, it involves the use of dental braces and other appliances to slowly move the teeth and jaws around. If the malocclusion is very severe, Jaw surgery may be used. Treatment is usually started before a person reaches adulthood since bones can more easily be moved around in children
Braces are usually placed on the front side of the teeth, but may also be placed on the side facing the tongue (called lingual braces). Brackets made out of stainless steel or porcelain are bonded to the center of the teeth using an adhesive Wires are placed in a slot in the brackets which allows for controlled movement in all three dimensions.
Apart from wires, forces can be applied using elastic bands and springs may be used to push teeth apart or to close a gap. Several teeth may be tied together with ligatures and different kinds of hooks can be placed to allow for connecting an elastic band.
Clear aligners are an alternative to braces, but insufficient evidence exists to determine their effectiveness.
The major function of the Dental Bridge is to fill the gap between teeth generated due to the missing of one or more teeth. Here, a bridge is created of two crowns for the teeth on each side of the gap and the gap itself is filled by a false tooth/teeth.
The two teeth on the either side of the false teeth play the anchoring role and are termed as abutment teeth. The false teeth are known as pontics in dental terms. These false teeth (Pontics) are made from the materials like alloys, gold, porcelain or with a combination of all the materials. The dental bridges can get the necessary support with the help of natural teeth or by implants.
Why Dental Bridges?
There is immense number of benefits you can avail of, while going in for dental bridges. The major advantage of these bridges is that with the help of them you can easily restore your smile as well as personality. It is a fact that you will certainly feel uncomfortable while biting food, even if one tooth is missing. If you are missing multiple teeth, it becomes quite difficult for everyday activities such as eating or speaking. This problem can easily be sought out, with the help of bridges.
Dental Bridge Procedure
If you want to obtain a dental bridge, then you will be required to make visits to the dental clinic a few times. During the first visit to the clinic, Diagnosis and general evaluation is carried out to make sure dental bridge is the right treatment for you. Then abutment teeth are prepared according to the requirement of your bite. A specific portion of the enamel is removed so that the crown can be placed over the teeth. In the next step impressions of the teeth are taken, so that it can be taken as a model for the manufacturing of pontic, crowns and bridges in the dental laboratory. Your dentist will provide you a temporary bridge for the protection of exposed gums and teeth for some period of time.
In the next visit, the temporary bridge will be removed and a new permanent bridge will be located in the place, which can easily be adjusted according to the requirement of the patient. It will take around two weeks for permanent bridge to get cemented into its location. After that it can perform its function independently..
Occasionally a tooth that has undergone endodontic, treatment fails to heal or pain continues despite therapy. Although rare, sometimes a tooth initially responds to root canal therapy but becomes painful or diseased months or years later. When either of these situations occur, the tooth often can be maintained with a second endodontic treatment.