Once you start seeing your little one’s first teeth surface, it’s exciting. It’s the start of them being able to eat more things and develop their own special smile. However, it’s also the start of their oral care—and that means you’ll need to watch out for things that are harmful to their dental health. Below are some of the most common dental problems for children, and how to fix them from pediatric dentists.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Think about it: when a child’s teeth are in constant contact with their bottle, as many are, those teeth are also often in constant contact with sugar from juice or other sweet drinks. This can result in tooth decay, since bacteria thrive off of these sugars. This can also happen if your child falls asleep with un-swallowed breast milk (or other drinks) in their mouth.
You can prevent this by giving your child a pacifier or water instead of fruit juice or milk during the day. But don’t dip that pacifier in anything sugary! It’s tempting, but it’s a big invitation for tooth decay. Also, take a wet cloth and wipe your child’s teeth and gums after each feeding. It’s also wise to teach your child to drink from a regular cup by their first birthday.
Grinding can be a fairly common thing during childhood. This involuntary habit can wear down tooth enamel, crack or loosen teeth, and can cause serious pain and headaches. Usually caused by missing or crooked teeth, grinding can also occur if a child has anxiety.
A dentist will most likely prescribe a customized mouth guard to help prevent damage caused by the grinding. When it comes to dental problems for children, this one is easily corrected with a little time.
This is one of the most common dental problems for children, and it’s nothing new. However, when they suck their thumbs, other fingers, pacifiers, or anything else frequently, especially after the age of five (when permanent teeth begin to arrive), this can lead to dental problems for them. Teeth can end up being pushed out of alignment, which can result in an overbite or speech problems.
Thumb, finger, and pacifier sucking are comforting to children, and therefore it can be a difficult habit for them to break. To help, parents can offer encouragement as opposed to scolding. Offer praise or rewards when they do well instead of nagging and punishments when they don’t. you can also use Band-Aids as a reminder for them, and it’s good to make sure their fingers are not in their mouth as they sleep.
Over-Retained Baby Teeth
When a permanent tooth tries to come in when the baby tooth in the same spot hasn’t fallen out yet, an “over-retained” situation happens, and the baby tooth will need to be pulled.
If you notice that your child isn’t losing their baby teeth when they should be, this might be a sign of impacted permanent teeth, and you’ll need to check with a dentist to see what’s going on.
- Brush your teeth in front of your kids. As we all know, children love to imitate adults, and this is one of the good ways to take advantage of that!
- Make sure to take your child to the dentist by the time they’re one, or when their teeth begin to show.
- Start using an infant toothbrush as soon as their molars begin to come in.
- Don’t put your child to bed with a sippy cup. It may be comforting to them, but it’s harmful to their teeth.
- Discourage gummy candy, and avoid candy in general.
- Make brushing fun! Whether you invent a “toothbrush song”, invite toys to brush their teeth too, or anything else, by making brushing fun, your kids will look forward to it and you’ll be setting a strong foundation for lifelong dental health.
Watch the video below for more tips!
At Infinite Dental Wellness, we are family-friendly pediatric dentists who are highly experienced in taking care of the dental problems of children. If you’re looking for an outstanding Glendale dentist for your child (or just for you), please don’t hesitate to contact us for any of our excellent services. We look forward to hearing from you!