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Oral health and Hygiene for your child

Good oral hygiene plays a major role on the overall health of the child. Poor oral hygiene leads to a higher risk of dental infections, cavities which might in turn lead to difficulty in eating food and chewing certain types of foods and ultimately indigestion. This is in addition to a possible issue with the speech, lower self-esteem of the child, mal alignment of the permanent teeth etc. to name a few. 

A child’s tooth is less mineralised compared to that of an adult and is hence more susceptible to dental cavitation. This combined with the ill effects of a sugary diet and poor oral habits can significantly increase the risk of dental caries in the permanent teeth. Habits such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing or tongue thrusting can further increase the risk of having misaligned permanent teeth.

Here are some dental facts and advice based on the age of the child:

(0-6) years

Refer previous blog https://curiedothealth.wordpress.com/2020/03/17/oral-health-and-hygiene-practices-for-babies/ to read more on this.

(6-16) years

Facts:

All permanent teeth excluding the wisdom teeth will be erupted by this time.

Advice:

  • Children should be encouraged to brush twice daily using a fluoridated tooth paste, using circular movements of the brush.
  • Flossing between teeth should be made a habit.
  • Newly erupted permanent teeth commonly have very deep ‘pits’ and ‘fissures’ and hence filling these with a ‘Sealant’ by the dentist might be essential to avoid dental caries at a later stage.
  • If your child is having misaligned teeth, the best age to consult a dentist would be around 7 years. Around this age, many issues involving the jaws or jaw orientation can be corrected without surgery. ‘Functional Appliance’ is the name given to these correctional devices.  

(17-21) years:

Facts:

The 4 (Upper 2+ Lower 2) wisdom tooth usually erupts between 7-21 years

Advice:

  • Wisdom teeth rarely cause too much discomfort when it has enough space to erupt.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth result from a lack of space in the jaw to erupt and hence leads to extreme discomfort and pain depending on the severity.
  • Visit a dentist if you experience extreme pain. Your dentist would suggest an X-Ray to determine the position of your tooth in the jaw and depending on the space available and the chances of it erupting, a minor surgical extraction of the wisdom tooth might be suggested.
  • Failure to remove an impacted wisdom tooth may lead to tumours such as ‘Ameloblastoma’ later in life.

Consult your dentist by booking your appointment on https://curie.health/

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