Pedodontics is that branch of dentistry that deals with the oral health of children. The main goal is to allow the child to reach adulthood without oral health problems, intercepting problems at an early stage. Today we have all the means and knowledge to achieve this very important goal.
Why is it important to take care of baby teeth?
Many parents wonder why milk teeth need to be treated as they will be replaced by permanent teeth. Milk or deciduous teeth play a fundamental role in the development of the little patient’s mouth. Deciduous tooth care has several purposes:
- remove infections;
preserve the chewing function;
- maintain the length of the arch: the milk tooth has the function of maintaining the space for the permanent tooth that will erupt;
- stimulate the growth of alveolar bone: the tooth is the fulcrum of bone growth, early loss is always associated with less bone growth both in the jaws but in general in the maxillofacial skeleton;
- intercept any bad habits and malocclusions
Ad hoc services for children
In our clinic there is also the possibility of treating our little patients using nitrous oxide, a harmless gas that allows the child to calm down.
How is treatment done in children?
The main difference in dealing with dental treatment in children lies in small technical differences but above all in the different psychological approach. While the treatment of adults requires a direct relationship between dentist and patient, the relationship with the child is of a triangular type: child, parent, team.
Parent The figure of the parent plays a fundamental role in the relationship of trust that we want to establish with the little patient. Often the fearful parent who lives with anxiety the relationship with the dentist risks transmitting anxiety and fear to the child. Parents always attend the first visit. If the parent wishes, he can also attend the preliminary approach phases; on the other hand, it is preferable for the parent to remain in the waiting room in subsequent sessions. When he is allowed to assist he must not interfere with the dialogue we establish with the child, he must not hold his hand and must not console him with phrases such as “you’ll see, the doctor will not hurt you!” This sentence contains messages that undermine the child-doctor relationship of trust because the child is reminded that the person who is about to treat him could harm him.
Team-Child Relationship In our Center the rule is that the child is gradually introduced to therapy. The small patient’s therapeutic process is divided into two phases:
I phase: of approach
Phase II: treatment
The approach phase is fundamental. For us it is important that the little patient who approaches the dental environment for the first time can live this new experience well and without trauma. We believe that the slow approach is the most advisable method of introduction to care, both because the child acquires awareness of the treatment and because he learns to manage his own attitude.
We want you to experience the first encounters in our studio like a game. The relationship with the little patient must be built over time. We know that to gain his trust and his attention we need to get in tune with his problems and his fantasy. Only when the child is ready and has gained confidence in us will we begin the actual therapy.
In the approach with the child we follow three fundamental steps.
Explain – Demonstrate – Execute, any maneuver or operational act that we intend to perform on him.
We are always very careful to use truthful and child-friendly language using easily understandable terms and synonyms to explain the procedures. For example, we will talk about pen or pencil, ointment or plasticine or straw rather than probe, filling material or aspirator. Another basic point is to promise only what can be kept.
This stimulates the little patient’s total trust in us. The child, acquiring more and more trust, esteem and consideration in us, will be led to accept our therapy. The child must face the session after having been suitably prepared. It is good for parents not to worry about providing too many explanations because they can inadvertently transmit anxiety or fear to the child. Unfortunately, young patients are often witnesses of more or less truthful accounts of the suffering caused by the dentist to relatives and peers. It will be our task to reassure them and inform them about the therapy.
Prevention Our primary goal is to motivate the patient to maintain oral health. Prevention is divided into different moments:
Oral hygiene Teaching the technique of brushing the teeth (toothbrush, floss, plaque-detecting tablets) APPLICATION OF SEALANTS DIET CONTROL PERIODIC RECALLS EVERY 6 MONTHS
Oral Hygiene Plaque plays a fundamental role in the etiology of caries. Plaque is made up of macrocolonies of bacteria contained in an organic matrix. Bacteria do not begin the processes of demineralization of the enamel until they adhere to the teeth via dental plaque. Plaque removal is one of the cornerstones of prevention. It is essential for us to teach young patients a correct brushing technique.
Sealing Sealing is a mechanical-physical protection for some dental areas, such as deep grooves and dimples, which reduces the incidence of caries. It consists in the application of light-curing protective resin in correspondence with these grooves and dimples on the occlusal surface of the molars. However, remember that interdental spaces can still be carious.
Nutrition Diet plays a fundamental role in the incidence of caries. Today we know with certainty that refined sugars, present in candies, chewing gum, snacks, etc., have a highly cariogenic power. Bacteria feed mainly on sugars and this leads to the production of acids in a very short time with a reduction in PH (acid attack) and consequent demineralization of the enamel. We therefore recommend that you moderate their intake and, as far as possible, do so during meals. Fruits, vegetables, meat are the least cariogenic foods. We recommend a diet based on hard foods and fibrosis as they promote the cleaning of the teeth and the functionality of the chewing muscles and consequent proper development of the jaw bones.
Checkups We advise the parents of our little patients to make the first visit already at the age of 3-4, or when the milk teething is complete. It is advisable to prescribe the first plate of the maxillary arches (OPT) at the age of 6. The panoramic plate is an important means that allows us to make a complete diagnosis. It is useful for assessing the presence of all teeth, their root development, agenesis or the possible presence of supernumerary teeth.