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Child dental care: Vital and viable


Date :14/05/2015

DUTCH researchers recently analysed the diets of nearly 3,000 kids aged between three and six years and found that asthma was less common in those who regularly consumed whole milk. The authors of the study, which was published in the journal Thorax, speculate that the fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in milk fat may keep the immune system healthy.

Well, milk sure is a fundamental drink for children. However, that isn’t the only reason why their first set of teeth is called the milk teeth. The colour of the primary set is milky white (without any hue) unlike the permanent set, which ranges from yellowish white to grayish white.

Facts about milk teeth :

* The milk teeth are 20 in number (10 in each jaw) ; eight incisors, four canines and eight molars

* The permanent teeth are 32 in number (16 in each jaw) ; eight in cisors, four canines, eight premolars and 12 molars.

* The incisors and canines of the milk teeth are replaced by the incisors and canines of the permanent set, whereas the molars of the milk set are replaced by the pre-molars of the permanent teeth. The permanent molars erupt independently without any forerunners in the milk set.

* The milk teeth begin to exfoliate or fall off at different points of time between six and 13 years of age when the permanent successors substitute them. This time period (six to 13 years), when the milk teeth are falling and the permanent teeth are erupting, is a phase where there is an assortment of primary and permanent teeth in the mouth and is called the mixed dentition period.

What you can do :

* Start brushing the child’s teeth as soon as they erupt.

* Don’t every put the child to bed with a bottle in his mouth as the milk will pool around the teeth and create an excellent environment for bacteria to cause tooth decay. This is called nursing caries.

* Keep a tab on the child’s diet. Poor oral hygiene and frequent consumption of sticky carbohydrates produces widepread decay involving several teeth (rampant caries)

* Check with the table below and keep track of the exfoliating milk teeth and erupting permanent ones. This way you can consult your dentist if certain milk teeth haven’t fallen or some permanent teeth haven’t yet emerged. A tooth erupting six months early or late is normal.

* This period is also crucial in recognising certain habits of the child like thumb sucking or mouth breathing, which may have gone out of control. Your dentist will help your child overcome them with appropriate advice and habit-breaking appliance (if necessary)

* Take your child to the dentist every six months. A Dentist will keep the cavites in check, give apt suggestions to all queries and in addition wipe out your child’s apprehensions.

The author is dental surgeon and can be contacted at ALL SMILES DENTAL CLINIC, 26673439, 9845085230.

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