Information for Patients
Child Dental Health
Healthy teeth are important to your child's overall health. From the time your child is born, there are things you can do to promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. For babies, you should clean teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby's toothbrush. Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle and check teeth regularly for spots or stains.
For all children, you should
- Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they are two years old. You might start sooner, if a dentist or doctor suggests it.
- Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks
- Schedule regular dental check-ups
Forming good habits at a young age can help your child have healthy teeth for life.
NIH: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
What are teeth?
Your teeth are made of a hard, bonelike material. There are four parts:
- Enamel, your tooth's hard surface
- Dentin, the hard yellow part under the enamel
- Cementum, the hard tissue that covers the root and keeps your teeth in place
- Pulp, the soft connective tissue in the center of your tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels.
You need your teeth for many activities that you may take for granted. These include eating, speaking and even smiling.
What are tooth disorders?
There are many different problems that can affect your teeth, including
- Tooth decay - damage to a tooth's surface, which can lead to cavities
- Abscess - a pocket of pus, caused by a tooth infection
- Impacted tooth - a tooth did not erupt (break through the gum) when it should have. It is usually wisdom teeth that are impacted, but it can sometimes happen to other teeth.
- Misaligned teeth (malocclusion)
- Tooth injuries such as broken or chipped teeth
What causes tooth disorders?
The causes of tooth disorders varies, depending on the problem. Sometimes the cause is not taking good care of your teeth. In other cases, you may have been born with the problem or the cause is an accident.
What are the symptoms of tooth disorders?
The symptoms can vary, depending on the problem. Some of the more common symptoms include
- Abnormal color or shape of the tooth
- Tooth pain
- Worn-down teeth
How are tooth disorders diagnosed?
Your dentist will ask about your symptoms, look at your teeth, and probe them with dental instruments. In some cases, you may need dental x-rays.
What are the treatments for tooth disorders?
The treatment will depend on the problem. Some common treatments are
- Fillings for cavities
- Root canals for cavities or infections that affect the pulp (inside of the tooth)
- Extractions (pulling teeth) for teeth that are impacted and causing problems or are too damaged to be fixed. You may also have a tooth or teeth pulled because of overcrowding in your mouth.
Can tooth disorders be prevented?
The main thing that you can do to prevent tooth disorders is to take good care of your teeth:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between your teeth every day with floss or another type of between-the-teeth cleaner
- Limit sugary snacks and drinks
- Don't smoke or chew tobacco
- See your dentist or oral health professional regularly
General Equivalence Map Definitions
The ICD-10 and ICD-9 GEMs are used to facilitate linking between the diagnosis codes in ICD-9-CM and the new ICD-10-CM code set. The GEMs are the raw material from which providers, health information vendors and payers can derive specific applied mappings to meet their needs.
- Approximate Flag - The approximate flag is on, indicating that the relationship between the code in the source system and the code in the target system is an approximate equivalent.
- No Map Flag - The no map flag indicates that a code in the source system is not linked to any code in the target system.
- Combination Flag - The combination flag indicates that more than one code in the target system is required to satisfy the full equivalent meaning of a code in the source system.