The following dental information pages answers your questions
on children's teeth, dental decay, nursing bottle caries, pulpotomy, pit
and fissure sealants and various aspects of children's teeth.
How many times should the child brush his teeth?
It is a good habit to brush the teeth both mornings soon after getting
up and just before going to bed at night. Children should also be told to
gargle every time after something is eaten.
Why do we use fluoridated toothpastes?
Fluorides used in toothpastes have the ability to get incorporated into
the tooth structure and make the teeth more resistant to dental decay. The
use of fluorides may even arrest progression of caries which are in the
What is dental decay?
Dental decay or dental caries as it is referred to is a disease affecting
the teeth wherein they are destroyed by softening by microorganisms or germs
that exist on and around the teeth. This destruction of the tooth structure
occurs in the presence of the stagnated food particles.
Why do teeth get decayed?
Dental decay is the most prevalent decease affecting humanity. Teeth get
decayed due to a combination of causes that include bad oral hygiene, stagnation
of food on or around the teeth, presence of plaque on the tooth structure
and the presence of caries causing microorganisms. Food particles and microorganisms
tend to stagnate in the deep pits and fissures found on the grinding surface
of the teeth thereby predisposing to dental decay. In addition plaque and
tartar may contribute to retention of particles and microbes close to the
Are sweet foods bad for the teeth?
Sticky and sweet foodstuff promote plaque and growth of caries causing
microorganisms. This predisposes to dental caries.
How to prevent tooth decay?
Prevention is always better than cure. The following factors help in prevention
of caries. 1. Maintenance of good oral hygiene by regular brushing and use
of interdental aids. 2. Diet is a very important consideration in dental
decay. Sticky food and refined sugars are important factors predisposing
to caries. Thus such foodstuff should be avoided. Children are advised to
brush immediately after they consume such foodstuff. 3. The use of fluoridated
toothpaste markedly reduces the occurrence of dental decay. The dentist
will advice you on the use of fluoridated toothpastes. 4. In some children
the grinding surface of the teeth tend to have very deep pits and grooves
which predispose to stagnation of food and microbes. For such teeth the
dentist may use appropriate sealants to reduce their depth. They are called
pit and fissure sealants. 5. Regular check up by the dentist to arrest caries
that have just begun and for professional fluoride application.
What is nursing bottle caries?
This is a rampant form of dental caries involving several teeth in the
mouth and affects those teeth which are generally considered resistant to
dental decay. Nursing bottle caries or rampant caries is usually associated
with prolonged bottle feeding of sugar containing drinks such as milk and
juices. They may occur due to bottle-feeding at bedtime or during sleep
and lack of cleansing of the teeth thereafter. Nursing caries can also occur
due to prolonged on demand breast feeding at night due to lactose sugar
present in the milk. This form of dental decay affects many teeth and may
be seen as marked discoloration of the teeth. In later stages the teeth
may fracture. The child often experiences pain on brushing and eating cold
or hot food substances.
What are pit and fissure sealants?
In some children the grinding surface of the teeth tend to have very deep
pits and grooves which predispose to stagnation of food and microbes. For
such teeth the dentist may use appropriate sealants to reduce their depth.
These are called pit and fissure sealants.
Is fluoride application required?
In addition to using fluoride toothpastes, some other form of fluoride
supplement may also be required to protect your child's teeth.As this may
differ from case to case,it is advisable to consult your dentist for more
What is pulpotomy?
Deep inside the tooth is the dental pulp or the vital tissue comprising
of nerves, blood vessels and other tissues. This tissue is protected by
the outer covering of dentin and enamel. When the cavity becomes large and
deep the caries may reach the inner vital tissue of the pulp. Thus the area
of pulp adjacent to the dental decay may get infected and inflamed. Pulpotomy
is the procedure where the superficial part of the infected pulp adjacent
to the area of dental decay is removed leaving behind the pulp present deeper
inside. The procedure involves clearing all the decayed tissue and removing
a part of the pulp tissue followed by treatment by some medications which
would promote healing of the rest of the pulp