Baby teeth start to erupt in the infant mouth as early as 6 months of age. Before 2 years, all the 20 teeth are almost erupted and these teeth are called primary or milk teeth.
It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities due to tooth decay can frequently lead to the problems that affects the permanent dentition.
Primary teeth play and important role in
Chewing and eating food there by ensuring proper nutrition for growth.
Providing space for the adult teeth to erupt in the cavity and guiding them in correct position.
Helps in development of speech and adds to an attractive appearance.
Straight smiles adding self- confidence to the kid.
Promotes normal development of jaws. Sucking and chewing provides exercise to baby’s facial tongue and jaw muscles.
Although all the primary teeth are eventually replaced by adult teeth, baby teeth are important and should be taken care of well.
Early childhood decay:
This is very common with severe form of cavities found in very young children 0-4 years of age. If over looked they tend to spread to all the teeth and create wide spread damage of the primary dentition. In severe cases the tooth may require removal, whereas in fewer cases it may require treatment under sedation or general anaesthesia at hospital.
Caries in erupted primary teeth can result in significant pain and infection, causing discomfort to the child. Early caries are usually virulent, which tends to progress rapidly .So it’s very important for parents to follow proper hygiene measures.
Tips to avoid early childhood decay:
Avoid diets high in sugar content like sweets and chocolates.
Follow proper tooth brushing and flossing methods.
Optimal consumption of fluoridated water. If insufficient exposure is found, it is advisable to use a fluoride containing tooth paste. This will prevent tooth decay formation.
Keep child’s teeth clean by ensuring that he/she drinks sufficient water after every food.
Give fruit juices containing natural sugar, avoid carbonate drinks.
Wean off bottle at the earliest and use sucking cup instead to soothe the child.
Visit dentist regularly. Regular examinations will help to assess the development of child’s teeth and gums to prevent infections and disease.
Do not give the baby teething cookies which is rich in starch and sugar as this give decay.