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'Ipapabunot Na Ang Milk Teeth?' Let's Hear From These Dentists
  • At the Smart Parenting Village, parents turn to each other for help, but some questions—such as "Ipapabunot na ba dapat ang milk teeth?" are best answered by experts.

    We turned to these dentists for answers: Dr. Patricia Cruz—who practices general, pediatric, and special-needs dentistry and also orthodontics—and Dyna Jeanne D. Godoy, who practices general dentistry and orthodontics.

    Please note, however, that this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

    Is it time for an extraction?

    Question 1: "Milk teeth ang nasa unahan na may tumubong [ngipin] sa likod. Need ba ipabunot ang milk teeth to give way sa nasa likod? Eight years old ang son ko. Mostly may milk teeth pa siya."

    Answer from Dr. Cruz: "Baby teeth are usually pushed out when the permanent tooth comes in. If this regular process does not occur, tooth extraction may become necessary. We may need to extract the baby tooth to allow the permanent tooth to take its place. If there's enough space, the tongue will exert pressure to guide the permanent tooth into alignment."

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    Question 2: "The one beside the left front tooth is still a milk tooth. The dentist already said to wait. Will the permanent tooth follow the direction of that milk tooth? My child is eight."

    Answer from Dr. Cruz: "This milk tooth looks like it will fall off soon. [But] it does not necessarily mean the permanent tooth will follow its position."

    Question 3: "Yung anak ko po walang sira ang milk teeth kahit isa. 'Di rin umuuga. Kaso, tumubo na ang two permanent teeth sa baba. Dapat bang bunutin na? Magiging aligned pa ba 'to? Six years old siya."

    Answer from Dr. Cruz: "Again, baby teeth are usually pushed out when the permanent tooth comes in. If this regular process does not occur, tooth extraction may become necessary. We may need to extract the baby tooth to allow the permanent tooth to take its place. If there's enough space, the tongue will exert pressure to guide the permanent tooth into alignment.

    "Also, great job on keeping the baby teeth healthy! But as kids grow older, they may start developing autonomy and become a little more rebellious; they may not brush their teeth as much as they did [when they were younger]. It's still good to bring them to the dentist for a regular checkup to monitor how the permanent teeth are coming out."

    Answer from Dr. Godoy: "The primary or 'milk' teeth are very important as they serve as guide in the eruption of the permanent or 'adult' teeth. The early or late loss of milk teeth may lead to problems in the alignment of the adult teeth. By visiting the dentist regularly, these problems may be avoided or intercepted early."

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    How to teach proper oral hygiene

    A mom in the Smart Parenting Village worries that all of her six-year-old's teeth are already rotting. But according to these dentists, it's not yet too late to teach the child proper dental hygiene.

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    Dr. Cruz: "We usually recommend supervising your child when brushing their teeth until they’re eight years old. They're still developing their dexterity and may need your help to reach hard-to-brush areas such as the back teeth.

    "Brushing is also only one aspect of keeping teeth healthy. Regulated sugar intake and frequent drinking of water are also keys to lowering the risk of rotting teeth."

    Dr. Godoy: "The adult teeth are starting to come out at age six. Apart from brushing and a healthy diet, regular dental visits to monitor the condition of the teeth during this stage are just as important. There are treatments that can be employed to prevent tooth decay, such as application of fluoride and pit and fissure sealant."

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    Dentists and parents are partners

    "The dentist and the parents serve as partners in making sure a child's teeth are healthy," Dr. Godoy says. "It can't be stressed enough that a lot of dental problems can be prevented or intercepted with early and regular visits of a child to the dentist.

    "Also, regular dental visits not only help in avoiding dental problems. These also help make the child comfortable in a dental clinic and establish trust in the dentist. This makes eventual appointments a good experience for the child.

    "Their parents' habits and knowledge of oral health greatly influence a child's oral health. Particularly, factors such as sugar consumption and attitude towards dental health have been identified to be directly related to caries (decay) development among children.

    "Always remember that oral health is related to general health. Taking good care of a child’s oral health is part of taking care of their general health as well."

    Dr. Patricia Cruz practices at Tooth Booth Dental Center in Marikina City, and Dyna Jeanne D. Godoy at Godoy Dental & Optical Clinic in Taguig City. 

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