Paediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health and unique needs of young people. It is defined by the age of the patients that are treated, unlike all other dental specialities which are defined by the type of procedures that are carried out.
The goal of dental treatment for children is to help each child have a healthy mouth with a good bite which not only looks great but functions well in their permanent dentition.
This can be accomplished in a way that allows the children to have the benefit of cosmetic treatment which is not only functional dentally, but also optimises on their general health.
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Provision of cosmetic dentistry for children
Managing dental growth and development issues
Interceptive orthodontics (functional orthopaedic treatment) & its relationship to general posture & gait
The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends that every child should be seen by their first birthday. The approach in England is not quite so prescriptive and children are generally seen by the age of two and a half to three.
If the tooth has not been bothering the child for long, use of a non-steroidal analgesic, paracetamol or Ibuprofen for children should be able to help get them though the night until you can call to make an appointment with your dentist the next morning.
If you child lost consciousness and has other injuries as well as dental injuries, take your child to the Accident and Emergency Department at the nearest Hospital. If there is only a dental injury take them to see the dentist immediately. If there is bleeding use a damp cloth to apply pressure to the region where it is bleeding. If you cannot find the tooth, do not worry, as it should not be replanted in the socket by you or the dentist.
The most common cause of bleeding gums is trauma with a tooth brush to inflammed gums (gingivitis) whilst brushing. The bleeding should only last for a few minutes. The solution is to keep the teeth and gums clean and this should resolve the problem within a few days. If not contact your child’s dentist for a check up. Keep in mind that some childrens’ fine motor skills do not develop until they are eight or nine years old so young children often need help from an adult with brushing
Apply ice to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes or it cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a paediatric dentist or Accident and Emergency Department.
Rinse dirt from injured areas with warm water. Place cold compresses over the face in the area of the injury. Locate and save any broken tooth fragments. These can be stored in water or a damp tissue. Immediate dental attention is necessary so, take your child to see a paediatric dentist.
Time is of the essence. , if the tooth can be cleaned, gently rinse the root with water, do not rub the root surface and if possible place it back in the socket. If this is not possible, store it in a container of milk and get to the dentist as soon as possible. If you do not have any milk available and are not able to put the tooth back in the socket, it can be stored in the child’s mouth, between the cheek and the teeth rather than under the tongue. See a dentist IMMEDIATELY! Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth!
If a broken appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If it cannot, cover the sharp or protuding wires with dental wax, cotton balls, gauze, or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, DO NOT remove it. Take the child to a dentist immediately. Loose or broken appliances which do not bother the child don’t usually require emergency attention.