The toughest job in the world is, without a doubt, being a parent. And it isn’t easy to keep children away from decadent treats that would harm their oral health. That’s why it’s vital for your child to get proper oral attention early on in life. A healthy mouth leads to a healthy body. Here are five common dental problems that every parent should be aware.
If you have a child that sucks her thumb, know that it’s a natural and even a healthy habit. Infants and toddlers only look for comfort when they suck their thumbs, pacifiers, toys, fingers, even blankets, or pillows. Thumb sucking is in no way, harmful to their health until about the age of five. After that, however, once their permanent teeth start to grow, thumb sucking could become an oral or dental problem. If your child is over five years and still sucks her thumb, encourage your child to quit the habit without being too harsh. If you have any problems or questions about your child’s habit of thumb sucking, consult a dentist right away.
As the name suggests, tongue thrusting is a condition where while swallowing, the child thrusts his tongue towards the lips, sealing the mouth. If this habit persists, the added pressure on the front teeth causes them to shift out of position. Later on, this could lead to overbite (a condition where the upper teeth overlap the lower) and even speech problems. If your child has the habit of tongue thrusting, consult a dentist and, if necessary, get help from a speech pathologist. Depending on your child’s situation, the pathologist may recommend certain treatment procedures.
With effects similar to thumb sucking and tongue thrusting, lip sucking is a condition where the child holds (or sucks) the lower lip underneath the front row of teeth. Overtime, lip sucking may lead to an overbite. Most children suck their lips in addition to sucking their thumb and thrusting their tongue. Though it’s not a problem during the early stages, encourage your child to stop the habit as they grow. If it persists even after the age of three, get a dentist’s help and learn how to motivate your child to quit the habit.
Baby bottle tooth decay, nursing bottle syndrome or childhood caries occurs when your child’s teeth come into contact with liquids that contain too much of sugar. For example, any liquid food like milk, fruit juice, sugar water, sweetened drinks, etc. may affect your child’s teeth. In a surprising study, doctors have found that in some cases, even breast milk causes tooth decay in babies. When the bacteria in the child’s mouth feed on the simple sugars in these liquids, your child’s teeth may start to deteriorate. Be wary of what you feed your baby and in case you have questions, speak to a dentist.
Sometimes, your child may have certain oral conditions that may prevent permanent teeth from erupting. That’s why according to The American Association of Orthodontist, every child should have an orthodontic examination by the age of seven. This test is vital to identify any problems in your child’s oral health that could prevent the permanent tooth from erupting.
Sometimes, your child’s baby tooth may be blocking the path of a growing, permanent teeth. In that case, the baby tooth will be removed. However, removing the primary tooth is only a temporary solution, your child may have to undergo more treatment later.
Dental problems are common. At least once in their life, every child faces some oral situation. However, is you treat it in time, you can save your child from years of problems. If you have questions about oral health or suspect something in your kid’s health, consult a dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will recommend safe and proper treatment for your child.