These milk teeth preserve the space for the permanent teeth. If there is gap in between milk teeth, it is a good sign; this gap will be eventually utilized by the permanent teeth because they are larger in size. So do not worry if there is a gap in between the milk teeth.
Permanent teeth start developing at birth and develop just below the deciduous teeth .If cavities in deciduous teeth are not treated at the right time it can affect permanent teeth in 2 ways-
Firstly, untreated cavities can become deeper and deeper and transmit the infection to the underlying permanent tooth. This infection from the milk tooth can change the size, shape, colour, texture and time of eruption of a permanent tooth.
Secondly untreated cavities lead to early loss of deciduous teeth. Time when the milk tooth falls is important because they protect the space for the permanent tooth till the time it is ready to appear in the mouth. That is why all milk teeth do not fall at the same time, they fall at regular intervals. So if untreated cavities are left in milk teeth, they fall off early, once they fall off the spaces in between milk teeth are closed down by the neighbouring tooth. This closed space leads to abnormal positioning of permanent teeth leading to crooked and malpositioned permanent teeth, which not only affects the looks of the child but can also cause problems in speech and facial growth
A clinical check-up and an x-ray can help us to find out the approximate time when a permanent tooth will appear in the mouth. If time for the appearance of a permanent tooth is more, then the space should be maintained with a space maintainer
Habits like thumb sucking, nail biting, and mouth breathing have harmful effects on both teeth and gums. Thumb sucking can lead to forwardly placed permanent front teeth, nail biting can cause crooked teeth, and mouth breathing can lead to chronic swelling of gums, which is why these habits should be intercepted at the right age by use of habit breaking appliances.
Early cavities of milk teeth can be filled with special filling that releases fluoride so that chances of further development of cavities are reduced. Deep cavities can be treated with root canal treatment .Yes root canal treatment is done for children also but it is slightly different from that done for the permanent tooth.
Following steps can be taken:
1) Always make sure that your child is brushing his teeth in a proper manner i.e. downwards for the upper teeth and upwards for the lower teeth. Also get into the habit of brushing teeth at bedtime.
2) Never leave the milk bottle in child’s mouth for long time, because the bacteria ferment this milk and cavities are caused.
3) Encourage children to brush their teeth after they eat anything sticky like chocolates, sweets, chips etc.
4) Regular dental check-up is important.
5) Fluoride applications help in reducing cavities in both milk and permanent teeth.
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