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Dental Problems
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My five year old son is loosing his first milk teeth. Is it too early? What care should I take if its too early and if its normal what should I do so that he gets good new permanent teeth.

Kavya (Sharjah, UAE)

A: You need not worry about early loosing of the milk teeth. It is not abnormal. Keep them under observation. Brush her teeth twice a day with soft toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride. Rinse properly after every meal.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: My daughter is constantly grinding her teeth during sleep especially at night. Is it because of worms in the stomach. I am worried because it might damage her teeth further. I did use the de-worming dose but of no use. Can anyone help?

Jyoti (Cochin, India)

A: You are absolutely right about her grinding habit resulting in damaging of his teeth and injury to the surrounding oral tissue. This habit is called BRUXISM caused due to tension or stress or insecurity. You are advised to speak to the child and try to find the cause if any. You are advised to visit PEDODONTIST –specialist for children's dentistry.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: My daughter does not like to brush her teeth. We have to literally apply phsical force to make her brush. She gives an excuse that he does not like the taste of toothpaste and therefore feels nauseated. We have tried all the branded toothpaste for her but she finds an excuse about the taste. As a result her teeth are turning yellow. Please advice.

Amit (Banglore, India)

A: Please do not use physical force to brush his teeth. Instead, you are advised to explain her the purpose of tooth brushing - its advantages and the consequences of avoiding tooth brushing. Try to motivate her. Try using fancy toothbrush (with cartoon handles) and flavored toothpaste to develop interest. Visit your local dentist to obtain colgate's educational booklets with cartoons and stories.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: My newphew grinds his teeth in his sleep. The sound he makes is loud enough to wake up the person who sleeps next to him. Can you please give us a solution?

Gopika (Mumbai, India)

A: Teeth grinding may be related to unexpressed/suppressed anger, emotions etc in response to a stressful situation. These situations may be everyday situations, which may not be perceived by you as such, but are stressful to the child. Talking to your child in the evening, discussing his day with him may give you an insight of her perceptions and once his anger/frustrations are dissipated before bedtime, the problem will cease to exist. Scolding him or making him feel guilty for the same will worsen the problem.

Dr. Gajendragajkar

Q: My son hates brushing. I recently noticed a cavity in my child's upper front teeth. What should I do?

Anushika (Atlanta, USA)

A: Take your child to the dentist immediately! The upper front teeth fall out at the age of 6, giving way to the permanent teeth. Till then these teeth should remain because they keep the place for the permanent teeth. If they fall prematurely, the permanent teeth will not come in a straight line. So your son's speech may be affected. The dentist will remove the decay and fill the cavity with a cosmetic filling. There should be no choice as far as brushing is concerned. Whether your child likes to brush his teeth or not, he should be made to do so. If your child refuses, you brush his teeth for him.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: My child's teeth are slightly yellow. How can I make them white?

Mohini (Ahmedabad, India)

A: Take your child to the dentist for a bleaching treatment. The treatment takes approximately a week, and it can be done at home. Your child's teeth will stay white for up to 3 years after the bleaching treatment.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: How much chocolate should be given to child in a day?

Manisha (Shanghai, China)

A: You can give your child a piece or two of chocolate a day, but even if your child eats more than that once in a while there's no need to panic. Just ensure that your child washes his mouth or brushes his teeth after eating it, and that he brushes his teeth every night before turning in.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: My two year old daughter has a hole in her tooth. What do I do about this?

Maher (Berryville, USA)

A: If your daughter is two years old and she has a cavity, it shows that either she has a sweet tooth, or she sleeps with a milk bottle, or she is not brushing her teeth properly. In any case, you should get the cavity filled as early as possible. The reason is that the milk teeth do have a specific function to serve. They maintain the space for their permanent successors besides being useful in chewing. They also help in the development of speech. If the child is not co-operative, then the filling has to be done under sedation. So, do get the cavity filled.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: My son is five hear old. His two lower teeth are already loose and may fall off any time. Is this too early for teeth fall? He has not hurt himself in anyway nor are his teeth in bad shape. When will his new teeth erupt?

Hetal (Mumbai, India)

A: Normally, the front milk teeth exfoliate at the age of 6 years, but earlier exfoliation in some kids is not unheard of. His permanent teeth will erupt in a few months.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

Q: My niece is five and a half year old. While playing on a swing in the garden, she fell down and both her front teeth fell out. We rushed her to a nearby dentist who assured us that the whole tooth had come off. He informed us that this would have no impact on her permanent teeth. Following are my queries and apprehensions: a. When will her permanent teeth come? Is there any feasible way of stimulating her permanent teeth to come sooner? b. Will the lack of her front two teeth affect the alignment of her permanent teeth? Will it result in the side teeth and lower teeth extending? c. Will it affect her intake of foods? Which foods should she avoid? d. Will it affect her speech?

Mikika (Baroda, India)

A: 1) Since the child is 5.5 years old, she is not going to be affected by the accidental fall of the front teeth as these teeth normally get exfoliated by the age of 6. In her case, the permanent teeth should erupt at the age of 6-7 yrs. 2) There is no way you can stimulate the eruption of the teeth. 3) It is not going to affect the eruption or alignment of the permanent teeth. 4) She can eat or drink everything. 5) By the age of 5, speech development has taken place completely. Thus her speech won't be hampered. Just tell your niece not to thrust her tongue in the empty space created by the accidental fall of the teeth, or she will develop the habit of tongue thrusting.

Dr. Hemanshu Mehta

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