How to Avoid Tooth Cavities in Children?
Every parent wants the best for their children’s dental health. To avoid the most common dental problems children, face, it is critical to promote healthy oral hygiene habits from the time the first teeth appear. Dental problems are common in children of all ages, so preventative and proactive care is essential.
Here are seven of the most common dental problems encountered by children and adolescents:
- Decay of the Teeth (Cavities)
Without supervision, most young children are incapable of brushing and flossing their teeth. Cavities can become a significant issue when combined with the fact that some children may have a sugar-heavy diet. Tooth decay occurs when sticky plaque builds upon the surface of the teeth. The acid in plaque essentially eats away at the enamel, eventually eroding the tooth.
Children should be supervised and assisted in brushing their teeth until they can grasp and control a toothbrush independently. Ensure that your children remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles from their teeth daily to help prevent early tooth decay. If a cavity does form, the standard treatment is a tooth filling, which involves drilling away the decay and filling the hole with complex composite material.
- Sensitivity of the Teeth
Sensitive teeth can be painful and distracting, disrupting your child’s concentration and routine. Various factors can cause tooth sensitivity in children, so bringing your child in for biannual checkups is critical for determining the underlying cause. Some of the multiple factors that can cause your child’s teeth to be sensitive include:
- Deterioration zones (cavities)
- Permanent teeth that have recently erupted Acid erosion and enamel wear
- Grinding of the teeth (bruxism)
- A filling that is cracked or missing
- Orthodontic therapy
In sensitive teeth, there are several treatments available to help alleviate your child’s pain and discomfort. If the sensitivity is caused by a dental issue, such as a cavity, you should see your dentist right away to prevent the problem from worsening.
- Emergencies in Dentistry
Dental emergencies can strike at any time. A dental-related accident can occur when a child plays sports, roughhousing with siblings, or falling while riding a bike. These mishaps can cause teeth to chip, break, or crack. In more severe cases, a permanent tooth may be completely knocked out.
If your child’s permanent tooth falls out, call the dentist right away for an emergency appointment to retrieve the tooth. Put the tooth in a glass of milk, saline solution, or clean water to soak. The dentist may be able to re-insert the permanent tooth into the socket, allowing it to reattach with the aid of a retainer.
- Gingivitis and Gum Disease in Children
You may have assumed that gum disease is a dental issue that only affects adults. Unfortunately, this is not the case for parents. Gingivitis and gum disease can affect children and are pretty standard in pediatric dental patients. Gingivitis is the precursor to gum disease, and it is frequently characterized by red, swollen gums, and minor bleeding when your child brushes or flosses.
Gum disease is more aggressive in children who do not practice good oral hygiene. Pain in the mouth, gum recession and swelling are all common symptoms. Gingivitis and gum disease could have been avoided in the majority of cases if more care was taken to brush and floss daily. In other cases, your child’s teeth may grow so crooked and crowded that they cannot properly clean them, resulting in gingivitis or gum diseases.
- Orthodontic Issues
Children rarely have perfectly straight teeth without orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, there are numerous orthodontic treatments available to help your child or teen smile confidently. Orthodontic issues are frequently the result of genetics, with the size and shape of the jaw influencing how your child’s teeth grow and come together.
Overbite, underbite, open bite, and spacing problems are some of the most common misalignment issues seen in children. It’s a good idea to schedule your child’ first orthodontic appointment when he or she is seven or eight years old. Orthodontic issues can result in more than just a crooked smile. Significant overcrowding and misalignment of your child’s teeth can cause jaw problems, cracked teeth, and an infection or other oral hygiene issues.
- Thumb Sucking Excessive
Thumb-sucking and pacifier use are common ways for infants, toddlers, and small children to relieve anxiety. It does not become a problem until the child is older and continues with this habit, as prolonged thumb sucking can cause problems with how a child’s teeth develop. As a result, parents should not allow the pattern to persist past the toddler stage.
Chronic thumb sucking and pacifier use are the most common causes of an open bite. An open bite occurs when the upper front teeth do not meet the lower front teeth, resulting in a gap even when the mouth is closed. This can make it difficult for your child to bite and chew, and it can even interfere with their speech.
- Dental Phobias and Anxiety
Let’s face it: many adults are terrified of going to the dentist. As a result, it’s not surprising that children and teenagers are often terrified of the experience. Dental anxiety can make it challenging to get your child in for routine dental check-ups and cleanings. It can also follow them into adulthood, wreaking havoc on their dental health.
Making the experience relaxed, fun, and enjoyable is the best way to combat dental anxiety in children. Choose a pediatric dentist who has worked with anxious children and has a process in place to help them. Furthermore, teaching your children the importance of dental care and incorporating it into their routine can help to reinforce the idea that they should not be afraid.
Being a positive role model for your child by brushing and flossing with them and making sure they don’t miss their dental appointments are excellent ways to in still healthy dental habits in them for life.
Many of these common dental problems in childhood can be avoided by working with your children and collaborating with your pediatric dentist.