Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry

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Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry

In dentistry, the branch dealing with pediatric oral and dental health is called pedodontics, and specialists who have completed their education in this branch are called pedodontists. Pedodontics or pediatric dentistry aims to protect the health of milk and permanent teeth of children aged 0-14 years and to treat diseases that occur. All dental treatments performed on adults are performed on children by pedodontists.


An excellent oral and dental health can be ensured for the children by regular dental check-ups. During these check-ups, any pathology threatening the oral and dental health can be detected. The important thing here is the early diagnosis of such pathological factors, accordingly, early treatment. In the pediatric patient, early diagnosis will positively affect the child's physical and emotional development.


The initial examinations of pediatric patients should be carried out when the milk teeth begin to erupt in the mouth. During this period, intra-oral clinical evaluation of the baby should be made, and the parents of the patient should be informed in order to create healthy dietary and nutritional habits, which are the fundamental factors of growth. Incorrect eating habits cause teeth and gum problems in children. The lack of information during childhood causes quite significant problems, such as early childhood cavities, which are common in our country as in all the countries around the world.


The initial examination begins with communicating both with the child and with the child's parents. After meeting, the patient's medical and dental history is taken. Then, it is proceeded with a clinical examination, which is followed by a radiology examination, if deemed necessary. After these stages, the patient and their parents are informed about diagnosis and treatment planning.


Preventive medical practices aiming at preventing cavity formation are the simplest, healthiest and cheapest treatment methods.


Fissure sealants:

As it becomes difficult to clean our teeth well when they are positioned properly in our mouth, gingival diseases and cavities can occur more easily.


This procedure includes the use of fluid, viscous filling materials to cover the grooves (fissures) that are located on the chewing surfaces of the teeth and that enable the food to hold on.


Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 cavities occur in the posterior molar teeth. Especially the first big molar teeth, which erupt in the mouth around the age of 6 years and have large surfaces and deep grooves, are of great importance in the formation of dentition and closure by remaining in the mouth for life. Because they are located just behind the milk teeth, these teeth are often confused with milk teeth and neglected thinking that they will change anyway. Since it is difficult for a 6-year-old child to reach this area and perform an effective cleaning, fissure sealants applied to these teeth will protect the tooth against cavities. Nevertheless, this method, which is very successful on chewing surfaces, is insufficient to prevent cavities that may occur in the region between two teeth.


Fluoride applications:

Fluoride application is the simplest and most effective method to prevent dental cavities and to stop the development of new cavities. In western countries, systemic fluoride tablets have been used on children for many years in order to strengthen the dental structure and to fight against cavities. Fluoride, which is taken systemically during the formation of the enamel, moves away from the surface unless the teeth are supported with topical applications. Moreover, recent studies have revealed that the fluoride applied to the surface of the teeth after the tooth eruption is more effective in combating cavities. Fluoride tablets should be prescribed to children under 3 years of age only in the presence of high cavity tendency, taking into account the amount of fluoride in the drinking water, as well as the age and weight of the child. When fluoride is taken too much, it causes discoloration in the teeth.


Physician applications: Fluoride applications such as gel, solution or varnish should be initiated immediately after the tooth eruption and should be continued for at least 4 years periodically.


Personal applications: Toothpastes, mouthwashes (not recommended because of the risk of swallowing before the age of 2.5 - 3 years)


Fluoride in Pregnancy:

Current studies show that fluoride support is not required during pregnancy. There is no scientific evidence that fluoride tablets taken during pregnancy strengthen the baby's teeth.

The rate of fluoride taken from breast milk or food until the sixth month is sufficient for the baby.