Pedodontics (Pediatric dentistry) is a department that aims to protect the healthy milk and permanent teeth of children aged 0-13 years and to eliminate the problems caused by caries, trauma, hereditary and similar factors in these teeth.
How should dental care be in children?
Babies start from the 6th month until the age of 3 and a total of 20 milk teeth are completed in the mouth. Giving the child regular brushing habits should start as early as possible. Ideally, brushing should be done by the parent until preschool age. However, the child should be encouraged to brush his/her own teeth after the actual brushing in order to build the child's self-confidence. There are two methods to prevent decay of milk teeth. The first is topical fluoride application and the second is fissure sealant (dental varnish) application.
Why do children's teeth decay?
Milk teeth contain more organic matter than normal teeth, so they are more prone to decay and decay more easily and quickly. Children cannot interpret signals such as sensitivity and mild pain in time, which can be seen in the early stages of decay. They only recognize it when the pain is unbearable, in which case it may be too late.
Children do not pay as much attention to oral care as adults. The child's dexterity, curiosity and the parent's attitude determine the brushing habit.
A common mistake, especially by mothers, is to dip the pacifier or bottle in sugar, jam, etc. and give it to their children or to get them used to foods such as sugary milk and fruit juice during sleep breaks. Thus, teeth become prone to decay due to irregular nutrition.
How can tooth decay be prevented in children?
Today, thanks to advances in modern dentistry, it is easy to protect teeth from decay. One of the most effective applications for preventing tooth decay is fissure sealants. Also known as dental varnish, this is an ideal method for your children.
What is topical fluoride application?
Fluoride is the most effective substance used to make teeth resistant to decay as long as it is in certain proportions. This substance is especially abundant in toothpastes. However, since children cannot brush their teeth properly, topical fluoride should be applied to the mouth. In this way, sufficient fluoride is stored on the teeth and the structure of the teeth is strengthened and made resistant to caries.
Fluoride in gel consistency is placed in a spoon of appropriate size in the child's mouth and left in the mouth for 3-4 minutes. This procedure is done separately for the upper and lower jaws and should be repeated 3 to 4 times a year.
The fact that this procedure is painless and does not require anesthesia is really important in overcoming the child's fear of the dentist and helps to increase their sympathy for the dentist.
What is fissure sealant (selant) and how is it applied?
Fissure sealant is a viscous substance that covers the chewing surfaces of the molars and protects the teeth against decay. Since the enamel is not fully mature when the teeth are first erupted, newly erupted teeth are generally less resistant to decay and prone to decay formation.
The best time to apply fissure sealant is in the first months when these teeth erupt. Milk teeth, which are your child's first teeth, can be protected against decay with fissure sealants. It should not be forgotten that dental caries progresses very quickly, especially in young teeth that have just erupted in children, so it is very important to apply fissure sealants without losing time.
Fissure sealant is applied to the tooth and hardened with the help of blue light (radiant filling device). All these procedures take about 3 - 5 minutes and your child does not feel pain during the procedure. After the fissure sealant application, your child can eat and drink immediately if he/she wants.
Fissure sealants can wear out over time, although it has been proven by research that 85% - 90% of them remain on the teeth even after years. Teeth grinding and frequent consumption of hard foods can cause fissure sealants to break and fall off more quickly. The better the bonding force of the fissure sealants to the tooth enamel during application, the longer the lifespan on the tooth.