Pregnancy to Parenthood approached Dr. Banashree Deb, certified and much loved Dental Surgeon to help bust common myths around child dental care.
So on my first day of college the professor asked us, if our tooth was a living or a non-living part of our body. Let me answer it for you, it is very much a living organ with nerves and blood vessels running through and around it. And thus, we embarked upon our 5yr (and still counting) Dental journey.
As mothers we eagerly wait for the first milk tooth, also called primary tooth, to peek out. And then when these milk teeth develop a deep cavity and the dentist suggests to go for a root canal, many prefer to get it removed since it is JUST a milk tooth.
First of all, let me bust a few myths around child dental care and milk teeth before I go into the details of tooth care and hygiene.
Myth 1: First milk tooth appears when the baby turns 6 months old.
So moms there is something called as Neonatal teeth, that is when the baby is born WITH teeth (usually lower 2 incisors). It’s rare but 2 of my close friends recently gave birth to babies with neonatal teeth, what are the odds! So, although babies usually start teething around 6 months there can be delay in teething too. Please panic only if you see no signs of teething in your 18 month old.
Myth 2: No special care needs to be taken for a baby’s mouth since there are no teeth.
Just imagine if our babies were born with full set of teeth 😊.
Moms even if you can’t see these teeth, the tooth buds are resting in the gum pads. Please make sure to keep the gum pads clean by a clean cloth/cotton at least thrice a day. Also start practicing proper feeding habits as early as possible to make the gums strong for a better foundation to healthy teeth.
Myth 3: It’s better to get a painful decayed milk tooth removed rather than treat it with a filling or root canal.
Did you know early childhood caries affects more than 80% of the kids? So if your dentist is hopeful to save a painful badly decayed milk tooth and not remove it, please understand it’s mainly because – (a) milk teeth help to retain the space for the future permanent teeth which are located just underneath the milk teeth roots (b) milk teeth if extracted prematurely, the neighbouring teeth may drift into the empty space, lock it and prevent the permanent tooth from erupting or it may not erupt into its assigned space.
Myth 4: Dental visits for kids are only required if there’s a toothache.
Well, what can I say to that? We, dentists, are sometimes looked upon as a deadly virus 😊. On a serious note, usually, the last milk tooth to fall is only by the age of 12-13 yrs. So definitely such long-lasting organ has some vital role to play in your well-being, don’t you think? A dentist will be able to able to identify any potential tooth or gum problem, a disorder in biting, suggest rectification of unhealthy habits like night time bottle feeding/ thumb sucking/ nail biting/ bruxism etc.
Sorry, I am not busting tooth fairies myth today! 🙂
Hope, I have been successful in clarifying a few doubts about milk teeth and child dental care, moms. I look forward to sharing some useful practice for better tooth care in my upcoming posts. Smile and let me see some teeth!