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For Parents and Patients > Home

Pedodontics or Pediatric Dentistry is a highly-specialized branch of Dentistry catering exclusively to children and teenagers. It also encompasses Dental Health care for children and/adults with special healthcare needs (such as Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Seizure Disorders, Thalassemia etc).

Tooth Fairy - Exclusive Dental Care for Your Child & You is a Specialized Dental Care Center dedicated to Dental Healthcare delivery for 'Your Child & You'.
Tooth Fairy is the first exclusive Dental Care Center for Children in the twin cities. Founded by Dr. Tejas Melkote, who has been working with children since 2004, Tooth Fairy is aimed at providing a state-of-the-art Dental Healthcare facility for maternal and child dental healthcare; and people with Special Healthcare Needs. Filling a void that existed in the healthcare scenario of Hyderabad, Tooth Fairy is an Award-winning Dental Facility for Children.

Pediatric Dentist (Pedodontist) is a highly trained Dental surgeon who receives 3 years of additional training in managing dental problems of children. All children are not the same and a child is NOT a young adult. According to their physical age, mental age and cognitive age, their needs differ. A 3-year old child has to be managed differently than a 6-year old child. A teenager is different from a middle-school child. Pediatric Dentists receive training in Child Psychology and Behaviour Management - a key factor essential to handle children.
The idea of Dental treatment in children is NOT TO JUST GET THE JOB DONE, but to INSTILL A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS DENTAL HEALTH and ELIMINATE FEAR & AXIETY and accomplish the treatment without discomfort to the child.

In India, dental health is ranked at the bottom of the priority list. Especially for milk teeth, the attitude of parents and grand-parents is that the milk teeth will 'eventually be shed' anyway! So why bother.
We need to understand that lifestyles and diet have changed radically. Children today have access to highly processed packaged food which ways uncommon 20 years ago. Therefore, Dental health in milk teeth is at risk.

Milk Teeth, though transient, have a very important role in development of healthy permanent teeth. Simply stated - You Need good milk teeth to have a good set of permanent teeth!
Dental infections of milk teeth have the following consequences
1. Growth & Development of body - Children have high nutritional demand during development. This is especially true during milk teeth stage (2 years to 6 years). Due to cavities in milk teeth, children do not chew food effectively. In case of multiple cavities on both sides of the mouth, chewing can cause pain. Therefore children simply swallow food instead of chewing. This leads to poor absorption of nutrients. India is known to be the global capital of low-birth weight babies and children with poor/delayed growth. Unfortunately, this can be linked to lack of awareness that dental infections during milk teeth stage can lead to poor growth
2. Growth & Development of face - Children undergo rapid growth in short period of time - a phenomenon known as 'growth spurt'. During this time you will notice a sudden increase in Height and weight. Such 'growth spurts' occur at 4 ages typically - 3 years to 5 years (deciduous dentition growth spurt), 6 years to 9 years (mixed dentition growth spurt), 11 years to 13 years in girls and 12 years to 14 years in boys (pubertal growth spurt) and finally at about 16 to 18 years (late puberty growth spurt). Any dental infection present during these phases of 'active growth' leads to less/no growth in the site of infection eventually leading to noticeable asymmetry in the face in teenage.
3. Alignment of Permanent Teeth - Milk teeth guide the eruption of permanent teeth. If milk teeth are infected and are lost prematurely (earlier to the normal shedding time), the permanent teeth can erupt in irregular fashion leading to the need for extensive braces in teenage.
4. Spread of Infection to Permanent Teeth - Even during the milk teeth phase (2 years to 6 years) the permanent teeth are developing in close proximity to the milk teeth. Any infection of the milk teeth has the potential to spread to the developing permanent teeth. This leads to 'abnormal' permanent teeth which may present as disfigured/scarred for life or there may be arrested development of permanent teeth.
5. Poor school performance - Several Studies in the USA have linked poor school performance of children to Untreated Dental Infections.
6. Psychological problems - The television and media have a very deep influence on Children. Children who lose the front milk teeth in the age of 4 to 5 years can develop psychological problems ranging from depression/ extreme anxiety/ low self-esteem/ timid behaviour due to peer pressure in school. Such children require psychological guidance in addition to dental treatment.
7. Speech and Language learning - Teeth have a very important role in pronouncing certain sounds and syllables. When children lose milk teeth during language learning process, they may develop speech difficulty such as lisping which may be permanent!

1 Right from the day the child is born, the gums must be cleaned using a clean soft cloth after EVERY FEEDING. This ensures a hygienic environment into which the milk teeth can erupt without the risk of getting cavities.
2 Brushing should start from the day the first teeth erupt in the mouth (usually 6 to 7 months of age). This is done using a finger brush.
3 At age 18 months, a baby brush is to be introduced. A toothpaste may not be necessary at this age. If required, toothpaste is used with Pediatric Dentist's consent.
4 At this time, brushing is done using a knee-to-knee position (when another person is available) or other suitable position which your Pediatric Dentist recommends.
5 Toothpaste should be used with caution. Children do not learn early to spit the toothpaste and may indulge in swallowing the paste. Commonly available Flavoured toothpastes (bubblegum, strawberry, fruit flavour etc) are dangerous as they can promote swallowing. Use only a small pea-sized quantity and NEVER fill the entire surface of the brush.
6 Promote healthy habits such as mouth-rinsing after every meal and/or snack, brushing at bedtime without fail
7 AVOID bottle feeding at night. This is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS and can lead to rapid destruction of front upper teeth in a matter of 6 weeks!!
8 Mothers milk MUST BE STOPPED at age of 12 to 15 months. Bottle feeding SHOULD BE STOPPED AT 2 years and a 'Sipper-cup' is to be introduced.
9 Every week, perform a lift-the-lip examination to see any hidden cavities. (See Video)
10 Use fluoride mouthwashes with caution and only under your Pediatric Dentist's prescription.

Ideally in USA, a baby has the first dental check up when the first teeth erupts. This is usually during 6 - 7 months of age. It is recommended that the first checkup should be no later than the child's first birthday.

The first dental visit serves as an introduction to Dental Health. It serves as an opportunity to motivate your child to develop a positive attitude towards dental health. It also serves as an opportunity to establish a trustful relationship with the Pediatric Dentist. Moreover initial cavities (when cavities are beginning to be established) are NOT BLACK, but are white in color which your Pediatric Dentist can identify and intimate you early. Early treatment is simple, painless, less-invasive, effective and inexpensive!

The first visit is more like an 'orientation visit' for a child. The child is introduced to the Dentist's office. This is extremely important event as it helps the child to learn first-hand that Dental Health is very important and taking care of teeth at home is easy and simple if done correctly. This appointment serves as a platform to gain the child's trust and develops a healthy rapport with the child which is very vital if/when invasive dental procedures are required in future.

A very important aspect of Pediatric Dentistry is 'Anticipatory Guidance'. As your child grows older, his/her Dental needs change according to age. For example, the advice given to parents of infants (from birth to 12 months) is related to feeding, crib-safety and Oral Hygiene; however, parents of a toddler/pre-schooler will be told about child-proofing the house, school/playground related injuries, dietary review etc. Parents of teenage children will be advised on need for braces, assessment of wisdom teeth, discussion of drug-abuse related issues if needed etc. Further, initial cavities are chalky-white and not all cavities are 'black'. Therefore regular checkups are very important for your child to grow up cavity-free.

At Tooth Fairy, we strive to make your child's Dental Appointment as comfortable as possible. Every child is different; and accordingly we employ various Behaviour Management techniques to effectively manage your child. After you inform your child that he needs to see a Dentist, DO NOT be vivid and graphic in describing 'what the Pediatric Dentist will do'. When your child asks you 'what will happen', simply tell them that they are meeting a specialist who will fix the problem. Children can develop 'phobias' when adults vividly tell them about dental procedures. Never use words like 'injection', 'shot', 'needle'. Do not tell them it will be 'Absolutely Painless' as well. Instead, tell them that it will be something that they can handle comfortably and the 'Tooth Fairy' knows best how to fix the problem.

At Tooth Fairy, our policy is that parents are not allowed in the procedure room (except children below 3) when the procedure is taking place. This is in the best interests of your child. Parental presence can act as a barrier to effective management of children. Parents often repeat instructions and cause a distraction to the child; an effective communication with the child is not possible when parent is present.

At Tooth Fairy, highly trained doctors work as a team to effectively manage your child. Most children cooperate and receive the treatment well with a positive approach. Rarely, some children are either 'too young' to understand the need for the treatment and may require alternative approach. We at Tooth Fairy use pharmaco-management (using sedatives to manage behaviour) only as a last resort. With parental consent we routinely use 'protective-immobilization' where a child is wrapped in a blanket to prevent him/her from hurting himself/herself. This technique is effective in most cases. Exceptional cases do call for Sedation and Hospital Dentistry where a team of Specialists - Pediatric Anesthetist, Pediatrician, Operation Theatre Nurse and Pediatric Dentist - perform the Dental Procedures while the child is safely made unconscious and is thoroughly monitored throughout the procedure. Your Pediatric Dentist knows best when to prescribe Dental Treatment under General Anesthesia.