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What is Pedodontics, Who is a Pedodontist?

Pedodontics is a Latin word meaning children’s teeth, and it is a branch of dentistry that monitors the oral and dental health and jaw-facial development of children and adolescents from infancy onwards, and includes the necessary treatment and preventive procedures.

Pedodontist, after completing 5 years of general dentistry education; He is a specialist dentist who has received an average of 3-4 years of specialized training on pediatric dentistry, child psychology and approach to children.

What treatments do pedodontists perform?

Examination during infancy and determination of caries risk factors of mother and baby
Preventive dentistry practices, including nutrition and hygiene recommendations
Treatment of harmful habits such as pacifier use and thumb sucking
Treatment of tooth decay by turning it into a game and thus preventing fear of the dentist
Emergency dentistry practices involving dental trauma
Early detection of orthodontic problems
Detection of oral lesions and gum diseases that occur together with systemic diseases in children

Why should I consult a Pedodontist for my child?

The oral and dental structures of children differ from those of adults, and therefore the treatments applied are different from those of adults. It is very important for the physician to approach the child and establish strong communication with the child, not only in terms of treatment, but also for the child’s cooperation and happy outcome of the treatment. Pedodontists are specialist physicians who are trained to examine and treat the child by making him/her comfortable and who know the child’s oral and dental system best.

When should the first dental examination occur?

The first incisor teeth in babies appear between 3-12 months, but the average age is 6 months. It is recommended that you consult a Pedodontist for examination by the age of 1 at the latest after the eruption of the first tooth. Actually, our aim is; to meet you and your baby, to inform you about what you need to do to protect your baby from tooth decay, nutrition recommendations and oral hygiene education; To evaluate the risk of caries and to monitor it regularly. It should not be forgotten that early childhood caries are 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than the common cold, and the first dentist examination should not be delayed. Communicating with the child during control sessions and getting to know the child’s environment will help your child tolerate dental treatments better when needed in the future.

Why are Milk Teeth important?

Primary teeth are a very important part of maxillofacial skeletal development. Milk teeth not only protect the places of permanent teeth that will erupt in the future, but also guide the permanent teeth that will come in.

There are milk teeth in the mouth during the period when growth and development are most active. It is very important to have healthy milk teeth in the mouth for a healthy diet and proper chewing of consumed foods.

In addition, milk teeth play an important role in speech and pronunciation of words. Early lost front teeth may cause children to be unable to pronounce some letters correctly.

Aesthetic perception, which has gained importance today, is important for everyone, including young children. Healthy baby teeth without cavities, and therefore a healthy smile, play a major role in children’s social life and establishing self-confident relationships.

Therefore, regular pedodontist examination and taking the necessary protective measures are very important to protect milk teeth from decay.

What are the caries-protective practices?

Fissure sealant and fluoride applications constitute preventive treatments.

What is Fissure Sealant application in pedodontics and what does it do?

Fissure sealant applications (protective filling or dental graft) are the covering of the deep recesses and grooves in the molars with a flowable filling material. The aim here is to prevent food accumulation in this area and prevent the formation of caries on the chewing surface by closing the deep grooves in the molars that cannot be cleaned. Fissure sealants are applied to the teeth once and the treatment does not need to be repeated. It is a painless procedure that takes a few minutes and does not require anesthesia.


What is Fluoride application in pedodontics? Is it harmful?

Fluoride application is a protective procedure applied topically (regionally) that is repeated every 3-6 months depending on the risk of caries. Fluoride joins the structure of the tooth enamel, making the tooth structurally stronger and more resistant to decay. In the first 4 years when the teeth begin to emerge into the oral environment, their enamel has not yet matured and the teeth are vulnerable to caries during this period. Fluoride applications can help teeth become stronger against caries attacks and also contribute to the healing of initial caries. Fluoride applied by the pedodontist will be applied in a controlled manner in a safe dose that will not pose a risk to your child.


What treatments can be applied to milk teeth?

As a result of some individual factors, nutritional habits, and inadequate protective measures, caries may occur in primary teeth. The structure of milk teeth has some differences compared to permanent teeth, and these differences cause decay to progress more quickly in milk teeth. In milk teeth, the aim is to keep the tooth in the mouth until it is time to replace it, with procedures such as filling or root canal treatment performed depending on the size of the decay. When you apply with a cavity complaint, the pedodontist will explain the best treatment option for you.

What happens if milk teeth are not treated?

There is a belief among the public that it is unnecessary to treat a tooth that is about to fall out anyway, and this approach is completely wrong. If the milk teeth, which remain in the mouth until the average age of 12, decay, they are not treated; Negative situations such as pain, infection, tooth loss and affecting the permanent tooth that is developing underneath may occur.

What is a placeholder?

Since untreated decayed milk teeth often turn into infection, it may be necessary to decide on the extraction of milk teeth that are not yet due for replacement. In this case, a placeholder is made to replace the early lost milk tooth in order to serve as a space saver until the permanent tooth underneath it erupts. Space maintainers are simple oral appliances that have fixed or movable options and can be easily used by children. The pedodontist will choose the one that is suitable for you.


What should I pay attention to before and during treatment?

Your child should be full unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Children are influenced by their parents’ experiences. Negative experiences should not be told in front of children; Moreover, it should not be forgotten that phrases such as “don’t be afraid”, “don’t worry”, “it won’t hurt”, “does it hurt”, etc., both before the session and during the treatment, will actually trigger negative emotions in children such as “it means it will hurt” or “I should be afraid”. Making promises you cannot keep or deceiving your child about treatment will cause trust issues and make it difficult for the treatment to take place. If your child is not under 3 years old during the session, it is recommended that you not be in the treatment area and wait in a suitable place as a companion, as direct contact with the physician will positively affect the treatment process. Scientific publications also say that children are more successful in receiving treatment in an environment where there is no parental intervention and that they leave the treatment happily.

How are treatments performed in cases where the child is not cooperative enough to receive treatments or is a child that requires special care?

All treatments can be performed safely in a single session under sedation or general anesthesia.

What to do in case of tooth injury or dental trauma?

It is known that approximately 30% of children suffer from dental injuries. It is said that inability to balance while learning to walk, especially between the ages of 1-3, and dental injuries are more common in the school age period between the ages of 7-10. While only the surrounding soft tissues (such as mouth and lips) are damaged in mild traumas; In more severe traumas, teeth are also affected. This may result in cracks, fractures in the affected teeth, bleeding from the gums as a result of the tooth moving in its socket, or even complete dislocation of the tooth from its socket. If the tooth exposed to impact is a baby tooth, you should consult a pedodontist without delay. If the permanent tooth is affected and the tooth is completely out of its socket, it is necessary to find the tooth, hold it from the crown (the part visible in the mouth) without touching the root, put it in cold milk and immediately consult a pedodontist. The shorter the time you consult a pedodontist, the higher the chance of the tooth healing.

What should be the oral and dental care of babies and children? What are the nutritional recommendations?

As the first teeth erupt in infancy, the teeth need to be cleaned after each feeding with the help of tooth wipes produced for babies or a clean cheesecloth or gauze. During your first dental examination after the eruption of the first teeth, your dentist will inform you about the need to use toothpaste and toothbrushes produced for babies. Continuing night feeding as the teeth erupt during infancy poses a risk for bottle caries. Due to the decreased saliva flow during sleep, the inside of the mouth becomes vulnerable, and the formation of cavities is quick and easy due to the baby feeding between sleep or falling asleep after being fed. You can get support from a pediatrician and pedodontist about stopping night feeding.

In preschool children, since their hand manipulations are not yet developed enough, they should not brush their teeth alone, they should definitely brush their teeth with the support of a parent. By letting your child choose his own toothbrush, you can make brushing fun and motivate him to brush.


Specialist Dt. Ceren UĞURLUEL GÜLERYÜZ

Pediatric Dentist

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