Pedodontics or pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that deals with monitoring dental health in children from birth to adolescence.
The importance of teaching children to have the right habits and take precautions are the first weapons in the fight against pathologies and annoying disorders that require more invasive interventions. Pedodontics takes care of exactly that.
What Is The Purpose of Pedodontics?
Reception and communication are critical in instilling trust in the child about the care that the pedodontist will provide. If a child goes through the first dental treatment well, they will more easily take control of their oral and dental health throughout their life.
Pedodontics aims to comfort the child so that they do not develop a fear of the dentist and teach them the right movements and make them realize the importance of good oral hygiene. The earlier children recognize their teeth, the more likely they can internalize them and maintain healthy teeth throughout their lives.
Pedodontics also has a role in preventing and treating dental ailments in children. These are the same as in adults, but it is very important to act quickly when dealing with children. Children typically have two main pathologies:
Tooth decay is the most common. In children, this condition develops more quickly than in adults.
Gum abscesses, which may result from the development of a primary tooth, are also quite common. It is important to monitor this problem carefully to prevent it from becoming more serious; it is also necessary for the child not to suffer from pain.
In both cases, the dentist easily fixes the problem. The dentist provides gentle care to the child and helps them understand dental care issues more clearly. In addition to taking care of damaged or decayed teeth, the pedodontist takes care of a possible need for orthodontic care and plays a role in the future appearance of the child’s teeth by suggesting appropriate solutions, especially when a tooth is broken.
Why Are Primary Teeth Important?
The health of primary teeth is extremely important. Caries that are not properly treated can affect the development of permanent teeth. The primary function of primary teeth, in addition to chewing, is to provide the right place for future teeth and guide them into the right position. This process ensures the proper development of the jaw bones and muscles. The act of speaking can also be affected by tooth development.
These stages are kept under control thanks to pedodontics, and different functions are developed correctly. The progressive loss of primary teeth and the eruption of permanent teeth begin between the ages of 6 and 7 and end around the ages of 10 and 13. This stage does not include wisdom teeth, which usually develop later.
When Should Children Have Dental Treatment?
The development of malocclusions can occur as early as two years of age. Recognizing such a problem in a child can help avoid dealing with dental problems in adulthood. For the dentist, there are three stages in which different treatments will be applied in pediatric dentistry:
Early Treatment: Targeted therapies in children in this age group help avoid further caregiving in adulthood.
Mixed Dentition: The period between the ages of 6 and 12 when the primary teeth come together with the first permanent teeth. At this stage, problems such as jaw curvature and tooth alignment can be easily corrected.
Adolescence: This is the transitional stage from childhood to adolescence. This process is also important for the development of permanent teeth.
What are the Duties of Pedodontics?
The duties of pedodontists are generally as follows:
Teaching Oral Hygiene: This is the most important habit to learn. The dentist advises the child on good brushing practices. Thus, possible toothaches are prevented.
Prevent Caries: Pedodontics prevents caries formation in children during periods of high caries risk. The dentist applies an anti-caries protective liquid resin to the occlusal grooves of the permanent molars. Filling the grooves is painless and does not harm the tooth.
Control: Since caries progresses rapidly in children, a control visit to the pedodontist every six months is highly recommended.
Measures to Relieve Toothache in Children
Careful oral hygiene is always fundamental to dental care. Regular check-ups at the dentist are essential to prevent toothache, along with certain dietary habits. In case of toothache due to inflammation, the parent can use a saltwater gargle to calm the inflammation.
When a child has a toothache, keeping the head and trunk as high as possible (with the help of a pillow) reduces blood flow to the painful area. These are mostly natural recommendations to help relieve symptoms.
However, it is important to act according to the triggers to relieve toothache and not to neglect them. Therefore, the dentist should be contacted as soon as possible.
Brushing teeth at least twice a day and not eating too many sugary foods is a great starting point for pain relief. It is recommended that children be taken to the dentist at least twice a year, starting from the age of one.
The dentist may recommend using protective sealants to prevent the onset of tooth decay. This process takes place by applying a special resin to the grooves of the teeth. Thus, harmful substances do not come into contact with the most sensitive areas of the tooth. The filling also prevents bacteria from multiplying and eroding tooth enamel.
Fluoride can also help defend against caries. However, this substance can be harmful if not used with caution. Therefore, the dentist’s instructions should be carefully followed.