In a first of its kind idea, we had a 60 minute LIVE Chat session on Saturday, July 22nd, from 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm wherein parents got themselves acknowledged about their child’s dental health.
They asked queries and doubts related to their kid’s dental hygiene, What to eat and what not, brush twice or thrice, everything from chocolates to candies and cavities to plagues were answered right there.
A few excerpts from the session are right below to help you out with your kid’s dental hygiene and oral healthcare.
Q: My daughter – 15 years old – often complains of pain in gums on front lower side. Why is it so? Kindly advise.
Dr. Rutika: This complain may be either due to some swelling in gums or also she might be having nail biting habit. Have you consulted your dentist yet? Please take her to one, without check-up, I can’t give u the exact reason. There are chances they are swollen if she is not having any finger biting habit.
Q: Is flossing necessary for kids?
Dr. Rutika: Yes, it is necessary that kids do floss, but only after all the teeth erupt. Also, if there is crowding of teeth, start flossing as soon as you see that.
Q: Till what age should the child use tooth paste and toothbrushes meant for kids?
Dr. Rutika: Till 3 years, you can use after that too, but in the instructions, I will be sending you the quantity of fluoridated toothpaste you can use in every age group, so you can use the adult toothpaste in that amount too.
Q: From what age should the child use a mouthwash? Is it necessary for the child?
Dr. Rutika: Ideal time for using mouthwash is after 3 years, but first check your child’s dexterity, if they cannot spit water properly, do not start by the time they can. Yes, it is necessary for everyone. For children below 6 years, its ok if you use it once a day, and after that start using mouthwash twice daily
Q: My child is 6 years old; which type of toothbrush is good for him – flat or little zigzag? Up to what age all new teeth will come?
Dr. Rutika: Flat toothbrush if your child’s brush are aligned and zig-zag brush if they are crowded. All permanent tooth will erupt by 12-13 years and the third molar erupt around 18-20 years of age. Sizes I will be mentioning at the end again, so that you can plan them according to age of your child.
Q: My 10-year-old son has bad breath in spite of brushing and cleaning tongue with a tongue cleaner twice a day. Please advise.
Dr. Rutika: Try mouthwash too and please get his teeth cleaned by a dentist 6 monthly. There are chances that even if you are cleaning the tooth, there are deposits remaining in certain areas of his teeth inaccessible to you. Also, I will be sending some videos at the end, follow the brushing technique accordingly. Please make him brush his teeth under your supervision.
Q: My daughter has plaque on her lower incisors since a few years now. She is 11. Do I need to get it cleaned or can just brushing twice a day remove it?
Dr. Rutika: If she has it since long, its better you get her teeth cleaned, because these deposits over long time get hard and can’t be removed simply by brushing.
Q: My 15-year-old daughter sometimes gets bad breath problem though she brushes well. Also, my 10-year-old has cavities and her teeth with cavity are coming out. Is it the permanent teeth coming out?
Dr. Rutika: For your 15-year-old, as I have discussed earlier, please do get a checkup done and follow proper brushing technique. And for your 10-year-old, there are two possibilities, either they are permanent tooth that are erupting or the decayed pieces of milk teeth are falling off. Kindly, visit a pedodontist.
Q: My son is 10 years , the doctor has suggested for braces only for front teeth, so should we go for it?
Dr. Rutika: Is there crowding in his teeth?? Or spacing. Whatever the reason, if it’s advised at this age, it is to prevent malocclusion in older age. Please follow.
Q: My daughter absolutely hates brushing her teeth. She ends up ‘barely brushing’ them. Is there any way to make brushing more fun? Sorry if the question is odd.
Dr. Rutika: No, its fine. Many children face the same problem. Try awarding her weekly with small gifts or taking her out on weekends as a prize to her brushing. Also use cartoon modified tooth brushes. Do not give chocolates or money as gift, make her understand that she has earned it.
Q: For my 8-year-old son which type of tooth brush i.e. medium or soft should we use?
Dr. Rutika: Use soft toothbrush for children, medium for adults, prefer not using hard unless your dentist advises you.
Q: My son is 8 years old, and his front permanent one upper incisor is protruding a bit. By what age application of braces is ideal? His all permanent teeth have not erupted yet.
Dr. Rutika: Visit a dentist, it might happen that he can get treated at an earlier age without braces, but some kind of basic appliance and he won’t have to put braces on his teeth at all. Prefer a pedodontist or an orthodontist.
Q: M 7-year daughter lost her upper front tooth in the month of May, which has not erupted yet. Is this normal?
Dr. Rutika: Yes. It is fine that the upper tooth don’t erupt till 6 months after they fall off. If it gets late than that, in your case November, visit a dentist.
Q: My daughter has gaps in her teeth. Though the canines and molars are yet to fall. Will she need braces? Or should I wait for the all the teeth to come?
Dr. Rutika: Minor gaps are present in primary teeth, for permanent teeth to erupt in alignment, but if its more than that, they need to get treated.
Q: One of the dentists suggested a calcium treatment for my 8-year-old son, wherein they would use an application on his teeth. Not sure on d treatment name, but it is wise to get it done?
Dr. Rutika: I think its bleaching. Are his teeth discolored or extremely white? If yes, get the treatment done.
Q: Hi. My 18-year-old daughter has only 28 teeth, when will she get the rest of the teeth?
Dr. Rutika: Some get the third molars by 18 and some by 20-21. You can wait.
Q: If the permanent teeth are erupting what can be done in this case?
Dr. Rutika: Nothing different has to be done. Keep oral hygiene. That is brushing twice daily, mouthwash twice, prefer brushing after every sweet or chocolate that is consumed and maintain a 6-monthly check up. This is very important.
Q: Is an adult toothbrush advisable for a 6-year-old child? And also, please suggest me if I need to do anything in particular as my child has been having allergy since birth till age 4, hence he started consuming milk and milk products only after 3 years age.
Dr. Rutika: Adult toothpaste in minimal amount, I will be giving in the instructions. Some children have lactose intolerance, but as you say he consumes it now, there’s no problem then.
Q: My daughter who is 3 years old wants to brush on her own. Is it OK at this age??
Dr. Rutika: Yes. But please supervise her and correct her if she is wrong. Show the videos to your child.
Q: Bleaching is safe for teeth? For child or any age? Or if doctor suggests, then only?
Dr. Rutika: Only if doctors suggest and safe in children above 12 yrs.
Q: Can you please recommend some good chemical free toothpaste for adults and children?
Dr. Rutika: It’s better you use fluoridated toothpastes only; the brands don’t matter. Colgate, Pepsodent, Vicco are all fine with adults. Cheerio and Colgate kids for children. Also, you can use Enafix toothpaste for children between 6 months to 2 years of age.
We really appreciate that Dr. Rutika Baid could take time out from her busy schedule to help us answer important queries related to dental hygiene and oral healthcare, and also for sharing with us some invaluable insights and tips regarding proper dental care for children.
Got questions or suggestions of your own? Feel free to drop them in the comments section below.