Importance of Baby Teeth

Why are Baby Teeth Important ?

The Baby Teeth also known as primary teeth are the teeth that babies are born with and continue to develop in the first few years of life. Though these teeth eventually fall out to make room for permanent teeth, primary teeth serve many important purposes. Not only are they essential to a child’s physical development, but they also contribute to a child’s social and emotional development. We highly recommend caring for primary teeth with the same efficiency as permanent teeth.


Frequently Asked Questions

‘ Baby ’ teeth allow a child to:

  •  Learn how to chew properly.
  •  Develop clear speech.
  •  Build self-esteem that comes from an attractive smile.

Possibly. The primary teeth serve another purpose: they are space-maintainers. As the jaw grows, permanent teeth develop beneath the surface of the gums. Primary teeth are space holders for these adult teeth, remaining in place until the permanent teeth are ready to emerge. Primary teeth that fall out too soon can cause crowding and alignment issues in the future leading to interceptive orthodontics or braces at a later stage. If your child’s teeth need to be pulled early – perhaps due to decay or injury – call us at Therapeuo about a dental spacer and whether it’s right for your child.

A lifetime of good oral care begins during the earliest years. While your child is an infant, clean the gums gently each day with a clean, damp cloth. Begin brushing the teeth as they emerge and schedule the first appointment with our paediatric team before your child’s first birthday.

Did You
Know ?

A child’s primary teeth begin to form in the first few weeks of gestation? The first primary teeth – the central incisors – are fully calcified and ready to emerge just a few short months after birth. Additional primary teeth will continue to cut through the gums until the average child has 20 teeth by age 3. These primary teeth remain in place until they are gradually lost, usually between ages 6 through 12.

Baby Bottle Decay

This occurs as a result of long-term contact between the teeth and liquids that contain sugars. Often, infants and toddlers are allowed to drink from bottles for prolonged periods of time – perhaps while lying down or watching television. The liquids pool around the teeth, which can lead to a build-up of plaque. Over time, this can erode the tooth enamel, resulting in early childhood caries.



Frequently Asked Questions

Baby bottle decay can affect any of the teeth, but it is most often found on the upper front teeth. A tooth may show visible signs of decay, such as the appearance of black or brown spots on the surface. Babies with infected teeth may also have swollen gums near the tooth.

We determine how to treat early childhood decay based on the extent of a child’s caries. When the decay is found in its earliest stages, it may be addressed with modified feeding habits and improved hygiene. Decay that is further progressed may require a crown or extraction. Fillings are not traditionally used to treat Baby Bottle Decay in small children.

The most effective way of preventing Bottle Decay is by allowing your child to nurse or only drink from a bottle during meal times. Avoid using a bottle to soothe a child, and never let your child go to bed with a bottle. You can also help prevent decay by limiting consumption of sugary beverages, such as juices and sodas. Finally, maintain a regular brushing routine, cleaning the teeth twice daily.

Did You
Know ?

That breastfed infants who nurse for long periods of time can get nursing decay too? In fact, decay may also be found as a result of giving a child pacifiers dipped in a sugary substance such as syrup. The sugars feed bacteria on the surface of the teeth, causing irreversible damage.

Fluoride Varnish

Once your child has a tooth, we recommend that your child receive Fluoride Varnish Treatments at our clinic to help prevent tooth decay. This can be done 2 to 4 times per year. The number of treatments depends on how likely it is that your child may get a cavity.

Fluoride varnish is a dental treatment that helps prevent tooth decay, slow it down, or stop it from getting worse. Fluoride varnish is made with fluoride, a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel (outer coating on teeth).

Keep in mind that fluoride varnish treatments cannot completely prevent cavities. Fluoride varnish treatments can best help prevent decay when a child is also brushing using the right amount of toothpaste with fluoride, flossing regularly, getting regular dental care, and eating a healthy diet.

Is Fluoride Varnish Safe ?

Fluoride varnish is safe and used by dentists and doctors all over the world to help prevent tooth decay in children. Only a small amount is used, and hardly any fluoride is swallowed. It is quickly applied and hardens. Then it is brushed off after 12 hours.


Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely. Once your child starts getting milk teeth then he/she should get Fluoride Varnish applied. This will help strengthen the teeth and reduce the chances of cavities.

Fluoride varnish is painted on the top and sides of each tooth with a small brush. It is sticky but hardens once it comes in contact with saliva. Your child may feel the hardened varnish with his tongue but will not be able to lick the varnish off. It does not hurt when the varnish is applied. and it takes only a few minutes.

You may be asked to hold your child in your lap while you are placed knee-to-knee with the person applying the varnish.

Post application of the Fluoride, your child must continue to spit until the taste of Fluoride is gone.

Your child can eat and drink 1 hour after the fluoride varnish is applied.

But only give your child soft foods and cold or warm (not hot) foods or liquids.

Do not brush or floss teeth for at least 12 hours.

Remind your child to spit when rinsing.

Did You
Know ?

Many bottled waters in the market do not contain optimal levels of fluoride. In addition, some types of home water treatment systems (e.g., reverse osmosis and distillation systems) can reduce the fluoride levels in water supplies, potentially decreasing the decay-preventive effects of optimally fluoridated water; however, carbon/charcoal filtration systems do not remove fluoride.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are very thin coatings used to fill in deep grooves and pits in teeth that can harbour bacteria. Sealants are applied to healthy chewing surfaces of the teeth to prevent decay and cavities – especially among children.

Tooth decay affects more than half of children ages 6-8, and even more older children and teens. By applying sealants, families can prevent decay and the save on the costs associated with filling cavities.

If you plan to get dental sealants, we recommend doing so shortly after the molars have erupted from the gums – usually beginning around age 6.

Did you know ?

  •  Dental sealants can last up to 10 years in the average patient.
  •  Many parents choose sealants for their kids because it is more affordable and less invasive to prevent cavities than it is to treat irreversible dental decay.
  •  Sealants are white or clear in colour, making them virtually invisible when talking, smiling or eating.
  •  Dental sealants cover approximately 90 percent of the tooth structure and are 100 percent effective when fully preserved on the teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sealants may be right for your child if he or she has molar teeth that are healthy and free of decay. Schedule a dental consultation with us for a complete examination to determine if dental sealants could be a preventative health solution for your children.

Your child will not experience any pain when sealants are placed. There is no drilling, and the entire tooth is left intact for the procedure. The tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and treated with a special gel before the sealant is painted on and cured. Although your child may at first feel the sealants on his or her teeth, the sealants are very thin and easy to adapt to.

Normal eating habits can be resumed after dental sealants are applied, although the sealants should be checked at every dental appointment for deterioration. Sealants that are damaged or missing can be replaced.

Tooth coloured fillings for children

More than half the children over age six have some degree of tooth decay. When cavities are left untreated, they can lead to pain, infection and even tooth loss. Fortunately, we can fill cavities to prevent them from worsening or causing complications. Modern dentistry has made it possible to fill cavities discreetly using tooth-coloured fillings.

At Therapeuo, depending on the treatment, we fill the cavities with Glass Ionomer filling or Composite Material. Children with tooth-colored fillings can retain decayed teeth in a way that are both functionally effective and visually appealing.

Did you know ?

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting children ?

Children as young as 6 months old can experience tooth decay. Tooth-coloured fillings can repair damaged teeth, but the most effective form of treatment is prevention. Parents can help their children prevent cavities by limiting exposure to sugary foods and beverages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your child may need a dental filling if he or she has cavities. Though some cavities are obvious and cause pain, many are less easily seen and asymptomatic. That is why all children should visit us and our paediatric team twice yearly for a professional dental check-up. Regular checks can identify tooth decay in earliest phases, when it is most easily treated.

The dentist will then remove decay from the teeth and clean the treatment site. In some cases, local anaesthesia might be required at the site of treatment. A chosen filling material will be placed into the tooth surface and cured. Finally, the filling will be adjusted for comfort.

Though most children experience little or no discomfort during this process, it is normal to feel some pressure. If your child has dental anxiety or concerns about the treatment process, speak with your child’s dentist about sedation options.

Composite fillings are very strong and capable of withstanding normal wear and tear in children. Most tooth-colored fillings will last many years so long as children brush twice daily, floss once per day, adopt healthy dietary habits and visit a pediatric dentist regularly for exams.

Pulpal Therapy for Children

Pulpal therapy (Pulpotomy or Pulpectomy) is a paediatric dental treatment used to treat and preserve a child’s natural tooth that has been affected by an injury or tooth decay.

The pulp is soft tissue located inside the teeth. When a tooth becomes damaged or decayed, the pulp may be exposed to bacteria, causing infection and pain. Rather than extract the tooth entirely, the infected pulp may be removed and replaced with a filler that prevents bacteria from further damaging the tooth.

Having pulp therapy done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what they do not realize is that extracting (pulling) a tooth may ultimately be costly and cause significant problems with space maintenance for permanent teeth.

Pulp treatment is highly successful and usually lasts the lifetime of the baby tooth, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be extracted due to new or recurrent infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible pulp therapy :

  •  Sensitivity to hot and cold.
  •  Severe toothache pain.
  •  Sometimes no symptoms are present.
  •  Swelling and/or tenderness.

Reasons for pulp therapy :

  •  Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
  •  Infection or abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  •  Injury or trauma to the tooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Only our paediatric team can diagnose a diseased tooth for your child. However, an infected pulp may cause certain symptoms in a child, such as a chronic or a frequent toothache, pain, swelling and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

Pulpal therapy requires removal of disease pulp within the tooth. Though pulp therapy does affect the appearance of the natural teeth, it is not noticeable when capped with a dental crown. We at Therapeuo use dental crowns to cap treated teeth not only for cosmetic purposes but also to help prevent future tooth damage or fracture. These crowns may be either metallic or tooth coloured. Call us for a consultation regarding which crown would benefit your child further following pulpal therapy.

Initially, the treatment site will be numbed to prevent patient discomfort. The diseased pulp is carefully removed, whether in part or in whole. The canals inside the tooth are cleaned and filled with a therapeutic material. Finally, the tooth is capped with a dental crown to protect it and provide a discreet appearance.

Did You
Know ?

Our Paediatric Team uses pulp therapy to treat both primary and permanent teeth? Saving the ‘baby teeth’ is important for the long-term oral health of a child. When a primary tooth is extracted prematurely, the neighbouring teeth may become crowded and future permanent teeth may emerge with poor alignment (leading to further treatment with braces). Pulp therapy helps ensure an infected primary tooth remains intact until it naturally falls out.

Stainless steel crowns

Stainless Steel Crowns may be recommended by our paediatric team for teeth that have large cavities, have had pulp therapy, or which are very weak teeth (severely hypoplastic).

After removing the decay, our paediatric team will fit and cement a prefabricated crown made of stainless steel over the tooth. These crowns cover the entire tooth surface to keep the tooth structure that remains (after the cavity removal) from fracturing or getting another cavity.

Stainless steel crowns (SSCs) look exactly what they sound like.  They are a silver-toned full-coverage restoration which are highly effective in sealing and protecting teeth from further bacterial invasion.

Here are some advantages of Stainless Steel Crowns :

  •  Durable but inexpensive.
  •  Full coverage protection for the tooth.
  •  Very little sensitivity.
  •  Less likely to need re-treatment.
  •  More successful than metal fillings in children under four years old.
  •  Good choice for children who need general anaesthesia.
  •  Often used as an attachment for a space maintainer.

Frequently Asked Questions :

Your child might be considered for placement of Stainless Steel Crown if he or she has extensive decay on the teeth, broken down teeth or teeth that have undergone any pulp therapy. If your child requires a crown do give us a call and our Paediatric team will be more than happy to speak with you.

Local Anaesthetics may be given to your child in such a procedure. The correct size of crown will be chosen for your child and will be cemented onto the tooth in question using a special cement.

Your child’s gums will be sensitive for several days after the placement of Stainless Steel crowns. If needed we will prescribe a mild pain killer for your child and instruct you on how to administer it.

The gums may bleed when eating or brushing teeth for several days after treatment. Continue brushing even if the gums are bleeding or sore. This ensures food does not get trapped and cause an infection in the gums.

Foods to Avoid after a Stainless Steel Crown

Because stainless steel crowns are glued into place with a special cement, we recommend several simple dietary restrictions. Avoiding these foods will give the cement the best chance to hold the crown in place.

Please avoid sticky or chewy foods, such as:

  •  Chewing Gum
  •  Raisins
  •  Fruit snacks
  •  Sticky candies
  •  Chikki

Tooth Coloured crowns

Fortunately, advances in this innovative technology with ceramics produced an alternative to the Stainless Steel Crown.

Tooth coloured crowns also known as White Zirconia Dental Crowns are a Stainless Steel Crown alternative for children. The White Zirconia Dental Crown is a metal-free crown that is certified biocompatible, extremely aesthetic, and is the most durable material used in dentistry today.

Zirconia crowns are one of the best dental restorative options available, as they seamlessly blend in with your child’s other teeth. As they are constructed of a solid monolithic zirconia ceramic, they do not chip, discolour, or break over time.

Choosing these state-of-the-art zirconia crowns will set your mind at ease knowing that your child’s smile will look healthy and natural, while raising your child’s confidence and self-esteem.

Benefits of white zirconia dental crowns include :

  •  Aesthetically superior
  •  Highly durable
  •  Metal-free
  •  Resistant to plaque, accumulation, and decay
  •  Biocompatible
  •  Performed in a single office visit

Frequently Asked Questions

These crowns are options for use in restoring primary teeth which are chipped, damaged, or broken, are not developing properly, or with areas of decay too large to fill without the risk of breaking a tooth. Extensively decayed primary teeth can often cause great concern for patients and parents, especially when front teeth are affected.

Your child might be given anaesthesia for this procedure. Your child’s tooth will first be prepared to receive the Zirconia crown.

The zirconia crown kits contain various pre-made crowns in different sizes. After preparing a tooth to receive a crown, your dentist will select the appropriate size crown, which is then passively placed on the tooth and cemented in place. Zirconia crowns are typically cemented in place with a resin.

Your child’s gums will be sensitive for several days after the placement of White Zirconia Dental Crown. If needed we will prescribe a mild pain killer for your child and instruct you on how to administer it.

The gums may bleed when eating or brushing teeth for several days after treatment. Continue brushing even if the gums are bleeding or sore. This ensures food does not get trapped and cause an infection in the gums.

Foods to Avoid after a White Zirconia Dental Crown

As the White Zirconia Dental Crowns are glued into place with a special cement, we recommend several simple dietary restrictions. Avoiding these foods will give the cement the best chance to hold the crown in place.

Please avoid sticky or chewy foods, such as :

  •  Chewing Gum
  •  Raisins
  •  Fruit snacks
  •  Sticky candies
  •  Chikki

Did You
Know ?

Due to its high durability, zirconia has been utilized in hip replacement surgeries for decades. Zirconia is a biocompatible material which has been used in high-end cosmetic dentistry for over 15 years in adult procedures. Recognizing the growing need for paediatric aesthetic dental restoration, zirconia was specifically designed for paediatric dental patients.

Interceptive Orthodontics

The majority of patients undergoing orthodontic care are children and teens. When kids are young, their jaws are constantly growing to accommodate new teeth. It is during this time that the teeth are easily moved, allowing for a shorter treatment time – especially in patients who undergo early treatment. Braces, retainers, and spacers are just some of the orthodontic appliances commonly used in children’s orthodontics. Although not all kids need orthodontic treatment, all kids need an examination at an early age

Some signs that a child may eventually require orthodontic treatment include :

  •  Jaw is disproportionate to the face
  •  Has a habit of frequent thumb-sucking
  •  Chronically breathes from the mouth rather than the nose
  •  Primary teeth fall out too soon or too late
  •  Exhibits malocclusion (overbite/underbite)
  •  Visible crowding

Frequently Asked Questions

If your child is at least 7 years old or is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, you should schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. We can take steps to correct a bad bite, fill in gaps, and straighten the teeth all before your child reaches the teen years.

Your child’s first orthodontic screening will include a visual examination as well as X-rays. We may also ask you questions about your child’s habits, such as thumb and finger-sucking. Based on the results of this analysis, we will discuss options and timeframes for treatment if applicable.

Yes. If your child is fitted for a fixed orthodontic appliance, such as braces, you will need to follow careful instructions to ensure the device is not damaged or broken. This includes monitoring your child’s diet to ensure it does not include hard foods, candies, popcorn kernels, or anything else that could cause damage. You will also need to ensure your child properly brushes and flosses around the appliance to protect the teeth from decay during treatment.

Did You
Know ?

Children should have their first orthodontic screening no later than age 7. This evaluation is used to identify jaw irregularities and developmental complications that could indicate the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. Early screenings make it possible to get early treatment, with some children beginning progressive orthodontic treatments as early as age 7.

Tooth extraction for Children

As dentists, our main goal is to preserve your child’s natural teeth and keep them healthy for as long as possible. There are times, however, when it is in your best interest (or your child's) to have a tooth removed (extracted). However, the tooth must be extracted only if it is so badly decayed that even a root canal won’t save the tooth. A tooth should also be extracted if it is crowding other teeth or fractured beyond repair. Children getting braces may need to have some teeth extracted to allow teeth to move to their proper positions.

Did you know?

Whatever the reason, tooth extraction is more often than not a very routine procedure. How straightforward this minor surgery is will depend on where the tooth to be extracted is located in the mouth, and what its roots are like.

Keep in mind that a tooth is not rigidly fixed in its surrounding bone, though that's how some may picture it. In fact, it is attached to the bone via a network of fibres that form what's known as the periodontal ligament. By carefully manipulating the tooth, we can dislodge these fibres and free the tooth without much trouble.


Frequently Asked Questions

Removing your child’s tooth will be the last mode of treatment that we would undertake. The tooth will only be removed if it is so badly decayed that we cannot save it. An extraction may also be warranted if your child is going to undergo Orthodontic treatment and space needs to be generated for the permanent teeth.

Your child’s case and the kind of extraction they need will determine the type of treatment. If the tooth being extracted is visible and easy to remove, we would perform a simple extraction. This merely calls for numbing the area with a local anaesthetic and gently extracting the tooth with forceps. If your child’s tooth is impacted, we would have to remove some surrounding gum tissue in order to reach the tooth. To prepare your child, you should discuss the steps involved with us before the actual treatment to help ease their mind and calm their nerves.

After the tooth extraction, your child will be given a piece of gauze to bite on until the bleeding stops and a blood clot forms. Ongoing bleeding will require changing the gauze every 20 minutes until the bleedings ceases.

These are the other general instructions you would need to follow, after the extraction :

  •  Give your child the prescribed medication to soothe soreness in their jaw.
  •  Place an ice pack on any swollen areas for about 20 minutes to decrease inflammation.
  •  Only soft foods for the 24 hours after the extraction.
  •  Don’t let your child spit or drink from a straw since the force could dislodge their blood clot.
  •  Have your child continue their normal dental care routine, but they must brush and floss their teeth with an extremely gentle touch.
  •  Tell your child to avoid brushing the area of the tooth extraction until it fully heals around the clot.
  •  Call us immediately if your child experiences fever, chills, great pain, or severe swelling.