It isn’t unusual for kids to suffer from oral health problems even before they lose their baby teeth. Since their baby teeth will fall out, these dental problems aren’t usually considered a big deal by parents. But it’s important to take care of your child’s baby teeth even though they’ll be replaced by permanent teeth. This is because a healthy oral cavity affects your child’s overall health and well-being.
In this blog post, we’ve listed five common oral health problems in children that you should never ignore.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Also known as childhood caries and nursing bottle syndrome, this tooth decay condition typically occurs due to frequent contact of baby’s teeth with sugars from various foods. The teeth rapidly become brown or black and start to chip. Milk, sweet drinks, sugar water, and fruit juices are all responsible for this dental problem. Baby bottle tooth decay can also be seen in breastfed infants who have the habit of falling asleep with unswallowed milk in their mouth.
Decayed teeth make chewing and eating difficult, cause pain and appetite loss. A badly decayed tooth can lead to an abscessed tooth which can further spread the infection to other parts of the body.
It’s a habit of sealing the mouth by thrusting the tongue against the lips. When the child thrusts his/her tongue, it exerts pressure on the front teeth, gradually pushing them out of alignment. This can lead the teeth to protrude and interfere with proper speech development as well as create an overbite.
If you find the symptoms of tongue thrusting in your child, consult a speech pathologist immediately. The expert will help your child develop a new pattern of swallowing by strengthening his/her chewing muscles.
Early Tooth Loss
Due to tooth decay, lack of jaw space or physical injury, baby teeth may fall out prematurely. This can lead to shifting of the adjacent teeth especially when permanent tooth doesn’t erupt. As a result, the required space for a new tooth may not be available thereby leading to crooked, tilted, and misaligned permanent tooth eruption. Misaligned teeth, on the other hand, can cause a range of problems in the future, including temporomandibular joint problems.
Visit a dentist without delay if your child loses a tooth prematurely. The dentist can provide a solution based on the condition of your child’s teeth and gums.
Thumb sucking is normal among infants and kids as it gives them a sense of security and comfort. However, if the child continues to suck his/her thumb even after permanent teeth have emerged or beyond the age of five, then it could be a sign of concern. Prolonged thumb sucking can cause a lot of dental problems like protruded teeth, an overbite and pronunciation problems. In some cases, the roof of the mouth can become deformed and the jaws can become misaligned.
Although the habit naturally goes away with time, if you see your child continuing with it, you can take a few steps to help him/her stop. Praise your child or give some rewards every time the child avoids sucking his/her thumb. Make the child understand the consequences of the habit, if possible. When asleep, take his/her finger out of the mouth. If this doesn’t help, consult a dentist.
If your child repeatedly holds his/her lower lip behind the upper front teeth, it could be a symptom of lip sucking. It causes similar problems like an overbite and other problems related to tongue thrusting and thumb sucking. You can follow the same tips to stop thumb sucking to combat this bad habit.
To prevent dental and oral problems in your child, you should never ignore the health of his/her baby teeth. Make sure to help your child with maintaining regular oral hygiene and take him/her to a pediatric dentist for regular checkups.
If you’re looking for a dental office in Brampton for your child, make sure to contact one that has an established pediatric facility.