Pedodontics (pediatric dentistry) is a department aiming to protect, treat and prevent the re-occurrence of disease in both the primary and permanent teeth of children in the 0-15 age group. It deals with dental health starting from infancy as well as jaw face development.
Primary tooth eruption starts around 6 months of age on average and this is when the first examination should be carried out. During the pre-eruption period, the area called crest where the teeth will erupt should be wiped with gauze after breastfeeding. Objects such as pacifiers and spoons should never be put into a child’s mouth after they have been in the mouth of a parent or caregiver. It is known that caries causing bacteria is transmitted this way. Primary teeth should be brushed when they appear in the mouth. , brushing should be started. Since the development of motor functions is not fully developed in young children, the brushing must be carried out by parents until the child bathes or starts cutting his/her nails. Brushing should be done twice per day; one brushing should be after any meal during the day and one before bedtime. The opinion that the teeth emerge decayed is wrong. This can be perceived because teeth exposed to an acidic environment during eruption begin to decay rapidly. After 1 year, try to stop feeding at night as much as possible. Breast milk is not considered to be cariogenic as such, however when breast milk remains in the mouth of a child whose teeth have erupted, the cariogenity intensifies and causes caries. This in particular causes severe destruction of the upper anterior teeth; it causes early childhood caries, formerly known as bottle caries. Although this type of caries which occurs at a very young age affects many issues such as feeding, speech, aesthetics, it can also cause problems such as swelling or pain over time.
Oral and dental health is an integral part of our physical health. All teeth in the mouth are associated to each other through saliva. Primary teeth are abandoned at different ages. Particularly, the second molar teeth remain in the mouth until the age of 12. As the number of caries increases, so does the number of bacteria. Caries in a decayed primary tooth affects both the permanent tooth successor and the risk of caries in the permanent teeth increases due to the increased number of bacteria generated by the caries found in the deciduous teeth, especially during the mixed dentition period. Therefore, they must be treated. When dental treatments are not performed, children encounter severe problems such as bad breath, pain, intraoral or extraoral abscesses which have an impact on their quality of life.
The treatment process of children is different from that of adults. In order to prevent the manifestation of permanent dental phobia, the child should be initiated to treatment. Various techniques can be applied to ensure that the child accepts and endorses the treatment. Therefore, pain should not be expected from a dental examination. All procedures can be treated in a single session under general anesthesia with children who cannot be treated in the chair for various reasons.
In addition to the treatment of dental caries, preventive dentistry is also very important for pediatric dentistry. Fissure sealants prevent bacteria and nutrients from reaching deep and narrow recesses (fissures) and holding onto the chewing surfaces, which are the most prone surfaces of molars. This prevents the formation of fissure caries.
In addition, fluoride is another preventive treatment. With this preventive treatment that is carried out regularly every 3 to 6 months according to the risk group of the patient, both dental mineralization is supported and protection against acid attacks is ensured.