Dental Care: Anatomy of a Tooth

What is Dentistry?

The science and art of preventing and controlling the dental disease. It promotes dental health through education, personal discussion with your dentist and information to public in general. The scope of dentistry is increasing rapidly. Previously the dentist was concerned only with removal of painful teeth and their artificial replacement.

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Dental Care: What are the Functions of Teeth?

In Indian Ayurvedic literature record of decayed teeth and gum diseases have been described. Sushruta, an ancient old surgeon has given a wonderful description of teeth and gum diseases. He states that pyorrhoea is due to obstruction of blood-flow to the teeth and their supporting structures. It causes oozing of pus and looseness of tooth, it should be treated with herbal medicines. If the treatment is inadequate, the tooth should be removed. These methods indicate that he knew the gum-disease treatment including removal of tooth. This proves that he was not only a general surgeon but also a dentist. To my knowledge Sushruta is the first dentist of the world.

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Dental Care: New Born Baby Care

The New Baby

At birth there are no teeth showing in the mouth, but the first teeth are forming under the gums. The saliva glands are not formed until about six months and when the baby starts to salivate more, it does not necessarily mean that the baby’s teeth are starting to erupt. However, the appearance of the first baby tooth at around five and a half to six months does usually coincide with the onset of salivation and dribbling! That is why it is inadvisable to give your baby regular solids as a diet until this time.

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Dental Care: Dental Care During Pregnancy

There are vast numbers of old wives’ tales about pregnancy and teeth. And so, without any further ado, let us assert that pregnancy does NOT cause your teeth to go bad. This contradicts the tale that every pregnancy means the loss of a tooth. After the doctor has confirmed the happy event-to-be, the expectant mother (who often has a job as well as housework to do) is involved in a multitude of extra activities such as attending the ante-natal clinic, buying baby clothes, perhaps altering the home to accommodate baby.

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Dental Care: Baby’s First Appointment to the Dentist

The parent should preferably have taken the child a few times as an accompanying visitor while having his or her own dentistry. The dental staff will thus make friends with the child who will be shown around. Whether the child will be seen by the parent’s dentist or not when the first ‘real’ appointment is made, the secretary should be told that this will be the child’s first dental appointment. Any other information regarding health, emotional problems, etc., should be is important to inquire whether the practice is a preventive one. It is likely to be so, but this was not the case up to ten years ago. If the practice is not heavily committed to the preventive approach, look for one that is.

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Dental Care: How to Take Care of Baby’s Teeth?

Why Look After the Baby Teeth?

If the first teeth are allowed to decay they may be lost and as the first teeth keep the place for the developing permanent teeth, and because the gaps may close, the permanent teeth may be crowded out and there will be crooked teeth and the need for expensive and tedious orthodontic treatment. It might even mean the loss of some perfectly good second teeth because of the lack of room for them.

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Dental Care: Appearance of Teeth

There are 20 teeth in the first (or milk) set which will appear by the time your child is 2 1/2 years old—ten in the upper jaw, ten in the lower, comprising 8 incisors, 4 canines (or cuspids) and eight molars. They usually come through in a particular order and the lower teeth tend to break through before the corresponding uppper teeth.

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Dental Care: Orthodontics Treatment

If your child has an irregular jaw formation or lack of room for all the teeth, your dentist will advise you at the correct time about the treatment that will be required. He may be able to do the necessary correction himself but many general dentists will refer you to an orthodontist— a specialist in the regulation (straightening) of teeth (mostly of children, although orthodontists now straigthen the teeth of adults when this is considered feasible).

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Dental Care: Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

It is a distressing experience for the mother to see her new baby with a cleft lip and palate. Such a deformity is very obvious, and often the parents have a feeling of guilt or shame. It would be reassuring for the parents to know just how much can be done to remedy the condition. Surgical treatment to close the lip defect is made early— often before the child leaves hospital with its mother for the first time. This is, of course, a good psychological factor for the mother and for other members of the family, and lessens the risk of ‘rejection’ of the child as not quite belonging. However, the time of surgery and its nature depends on the condition of the child—a decision to be made by the surgeon. The immediate problem at birth is that of feeding, and lip closure surgery helps this.

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