PAEDIATRIC / CHILDREN
The diagram below shows the name of baby teeth, their eruption time, and the time they are lost.
Source: Australian Dental Association
When should my child have his/her first dental appointment?
Ideally, your child's first dental visit should be when they have their first tooth or when they reach 12 months old - whichever occurs first.
Early exposure to the dental environment is important in order to familiarise your child to the dentist and its environment. In addition, a lot of dental problems in the future can be prevented with proper dental care, diet advice, and regular check-up. This will, hopefully, set your child up for future free of dental decay.
Oral hygiene in children
From the time teeth first erupt (about six months old) to 17 months old, teeth should be cleaned by a responsible adult, but without toothpaste.
From 18 months old to 5 years old, teeth should be cleaned twice daily with child fluoridated toothpaste (500-550 ppm) under the supervision of a responsible adult. Apply a small pea-size amount of toothpaste to a child soft toothbrush. After brushing, your child should spit out, but not swallow and not rinse out.
From six years old onwards, teeth should be cleaned twice daily with standard fluoridated toothpaste (1000-1500 ppm). After brushing, spit out but don't swallow and don't rinse.
Depending on your child's dental caries risk, your dentist may vary the advice above to include toothpaste containing high amount of fluoride.
It is a prevailing wisdom that prevention is better than cure. Dental sealants do exactly that!
Molar (back) teeth can have complicated anatomy of its surfaces, i.e. having deep fissures/grooves and pits. Often, they do to the depth that is inaccessible by the bristle of your toothbrush. In early ages, dental caries often develop from these fissures/grooves and pits.
Dental sealants are flowable tooth-coloured materials placed into these fissures and pits which are then set to harden, therefore sealing the base. The sealed surfaces of the tooth is now fully cleansable.
Generally, dental sealants are placed on permanent molars after they erupt: around 6 years old for first permanent molars and around 12 years old for second permanent molars. Sealants may be placed on other teeth, including primary/baby molars, if indicated.
Dental trauma in children
Children are prone to trauma, such as falls or getting hit while playing. As a result, dental trauma in children can be quite common.
If this were to occur to your child, go to the dentist immediately. It is important to determine the risk, if any, of damaging the adult teeth.
If your child's baby tooth is avulsed (knocked out completely), it is important that you DO NOT put it back in. Seek dental assistance immediately.