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Frequently Asked Questions


When will my child start getting his/her permanent teeth

The arrival of permanent teeth occurs at 6 years. The first permanent tooth that erupts is the first molars behind the last baby tooth, followed by the lower front tooth. Variation in time and eruption sequence is common and considered normal. Sometimes it takes up to several months, from the time the baby tooth has fallen, for the permanent tooth to erupt. This is related to many factors like the amount of space available for the tooth to grow, the position of the individual tooth, and even family traits. With the exception of the wisdom teeth, all permanent teeth come in by early teen.

What are the preventive measures to be taken from developing cavities in the permanent teeth?

As school going children, they start increasing their independence with daily habits and food choices in and out of the home. To insure your child continues to have healthy teeth continue to supervise brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Encourage and ensure that they rinse their mouth after every meal and snack.  Discourage the habit of drinking sweet beverages routinely as they increase their chances of getting cavities. Minimize frequency of snacking and duration to consume the food. Pouching of food and increased duration to chew and swallow food and snacks can lead to development of tooth decay.

Why do children need dental sealants at this age?

Sealant is a protective coating done on the permanent molars and premolars. In a newly erupted back tooth, the grooves and fissures on the biting surface are deep and narrow making them vulnerable to retention of food particles. When these food particles retain for long they cause bacterial growth resulting in tooth decay. Dental sealants fill-in these deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, so that food cannot collect in them, hence preventing bacterial growth and tooth decay.

What should be done if the permanent tooth is not erupting in correct position?

The most common condition that we notice around age 6 years is appearance of two rows of teeth especially in the lower front region. This happens due to discrepancy in size of the permanent tooth and space available in the jaw. Children who had non spaced milk teeth are very much prone to develop crowded adult teeth. Predisposing factors like thumb sucking, mouth breathing can also lead to space discrepancy. Early intervention is required to correct or minimize the space discrepancy to avoid permanent teeth being locked inside the jaw bone or removal of premolars during orthodontic treatment at early teenage.

When is the right time for a time to align the teeth?

The simple answer to that is depending upon the problem that the child is developing or has developed. As mentioned above predisposing factors like deleterious oral habits (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, mouth breathing, lip trapping), space discrepancy, anomalies like tongue tie, supernumerary teeth, high frenum attachment can lead to malialignment of teeth. Identification and correction of the primary etiological factor should be done at the earliest. Myo-functional treatment that helps to correct jaw discrepancy in terms of its size, shape and position should be done during active growth of the child. These appliances are usually removable and simple to be worn. The duration of treatment varies depending upon the problem and its severity. Henceforth six months follow-up is mandatory for a child from age 6 years to assess the growth and development of the jaw and teeth. Once all permanent teeth have erupted then braces are worn to align them.