Good dental hygiene should start early in a child’s life. This helps ensure that proper oral hygiene will carry into adulthood. If you haven’t started already, you should acquaint yourself with the different dental problems that your child might encounter so that you can take your child to a pediatric dentist in Riverton to get treated. Here are the most common dental problems in children and how to deal with them.
Cavities form when a bacteria called mutans streptococcus feeds on sugar and produces an acid that eats away at the teeth’s calcium. This bacteria also creates plaque which further erodes acid. When the area without calcium becomes too large, the surface of the tooth collapses and becomes a cavity. Almost 42% of children between the ages of two and eleven already have at least one cavity. Even infants can suffer from cavities called “baby bottle tooth decay” since they’re frequently exposed to sugary liquids through nursing, formula, or juice before bedtime.
Much like cavities, a certain type of bacteria causes sensitive teeth by eating away at a thin layer of tooth enamel. Once the enamel gets too thin or wears out, teeth become hypersensitive to cold and hot temperatures. Young children are more prone to having sensitive teeth than adults because primary teeth have thinner enamel than permanent teeth.
Adults are more susceptible to gum disease, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to children as well. If you notice that your child’s teeth are swollen and red, then you need to take them to a pediatric dentist immediately to have this issue addressed before it becomes more serious.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, occurs when food particles are left in the mouth to deteriorate. Although it’s possible that bad breath may simply be a case of eating pungent foods, constant bad breath may be an indication that your child may be suffering from a more serious problem like gum disease.
Malocclusion happens when your child’s bite does not align properly. It’s also known as dental misalignment. These problems may be genetic, but it can also develop due to missing teeth, crowded teeth, accidents, misaligned jaws, or developmental issues such as thumb sucking. You may need to see an orthodontist when your child reaches a certain age to have this problem treated accordingly.
Discolored teeth may be yellowish or have white and brown patches on the surface. This is often caused by inadequate tooth brushing, tooth injury, excessive fluoride, or weak enamel. This is often not that serious and may be treated at home by introducing proper tooth brushing techniques and habits. However, it’s still recommended to see a dentist if the problem persists so that they can accurately determine the severity of the case.
Involuntary teeth grinding can be observed in most babies and toddlers. They may often do it due to discomfort in their jaws as their primary teeth begin to emerge. Children usually stop doing this once their teeth are developed though. If your child continues to grind their teeth long after, this may cause the eroding of their tooth enamels resulting in cavities or sensitive teeth.
Poor dental hygiene in children can negatively impact their health and well-being. It’s important to keep your child’s teeth healthy as early as possible.