Children’s Oral Health
Oral health is a window to overall health and the health of your mouth, teeth and gums can affect your general health. Your and your child’s oral health can offer clues about your overall health and problems in the mouth can affect the rest of your body.
What are the primary (Milk/Baby) teeth?
These are the first teeth which will be replaced by permanent teeth later. The first permanent tooth appears around the age of 6 years behind the last milk tooth in each arch.
When milk teeth appear in the mouth and for how long?
They start to appear in the mouth from 6 months of age in average.By the age of approximately 3 years, all the milk teeth should be present in the mouth. They start to be replaced by permanent teeth at the age of 6 years and all milk teeth are replace by the age of 12-13 years.
How many primary (milk) teeth are there?
There are a total of 20 teeth equally dividedbetween upper (top) arch and lower (bottom) arch.
Why do we have baby teeth?
Primary (Baby, Milk) teeth serve many functions such as:
- They are important for eating
- Preserving space for the permanent tooth to come in its proper place
- Important for speech development and phonetics
- Provide your child with a healthy and pretty smile.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay or caries (cavities) are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of teeth that develop into openings or holes.
What causes tooth decay in young children?
There are many factors that help in developing dentaldecay in children including:
- Continuous, Overnight bottle or breast feeding
- Sugar containing milk, juices and medicines
- Frequent sweet or confectionary consumption between meals
- Lack or improper tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste
- Not visiting dentist regularly.
How to care for your infant/young child’s teeth?
- Stop bottle or breast feeding at night by first year of age. Encourage your child to drink milk from a cup
- Avoid giving sweets, potato chips, fizzy or sugary drinks on daily basis
- Ask your doctor/pediatrician for a sugar free medicine
- Let the child drink water or rinse well after sugary snacks
- Encourage healthy foods such as fruits, nuts, cheese
- Brush your child teeth with kids toothpaste two times a day (after breakfast and before sleeping)
- Take your child for her/his initial to dentist after eruption of the first tooth and no later than first year of age.