When it comes to kids there is no written handbook on parenting- we know. That’s why we’ve broken down the dental section of the parenting manual for you, so there’s one less thing to worry about. Here are some common dental problems we have noticed frequently in children, and some signs to look out for so that you can give the best care possible to your child.
Tooth Decay (aka Cavities)
This is a very common problem we see in children, and occasionally adults. In fact, according to the CDC more than 1 in 5 children aged 2 to 5 years has at least one cavity in their baby teeth. This issue is caused in children largely by inproficent brushing and flossing. Make sure your child is gripping and guiding their toothbrush to properly remove plaque and food build up to ensure this problem doesn’t happen.
Excessive Oral Fixations or Thumb Sucking
Many babies, toddlers, and even some young children resort to some kind of oral fixation to soothe anxiety and help ease their teething pain. Besides thumb sucking, other common oral fixations children turn to are pacifiers, bottles, and other miscellaneous items. This is very common for babies and toddlers, but should not be a continued habit past the toddler stage. It is very common to experience what is known as an, “open bite” later in life if this problem insists.
A sensitive tooth (and/or teeth) can be caused by a number of different factors and dental conditions. Some of these include new cavities that have not been treated, a cracked or missing filling, excessive exposure to extremely hot or cold food, and many other conditions. If your child is experiencing any sensitivity in their teeth, it is best to consult with a dentist to get to the root of the problem.
Anxiety or Phobias Around the Dentist
Some kids and teens experience this, as well as adults. Here at Krengel we try to combat that by giving our patients the most relaxed and enjoyable experience possible. It is also helpful to set up a good dental routine with your children, so not as many problems arise during their appointments.
Bad Breath (also known as Halitosis)
Again like many other dental problems, the main solution to this one is properly brushing and flossing your teeth. The main cause of bad breath is food and plaque build up, which can be combated with a good dental routine. Some foods known to give you bad breath, like anchovies and garlic, will only cause short term bad breath problems. If these problems insist this might be a sign of a more serious condition like gum disease. In this case, you should consult with a dentist immediately.
It is a well known fact that kids are very prone to accidents…falling off bikes, roughhousing, playing sports, etc. These accidents mainly cause the tooth (or teeth) to be chipped, broken, or cracked. In some cases the entire tooth might fall out. In this case, here is a step by step guide on what to do with the tooth…so that the dentist might be able to fully reattach it. Although there isn’t a lot a parent can’t do to control this situation…just simply remain calm and call your dentist to make an emergency appointment immediately.
Children rarely have perfectly straight teeth. Many times these issues are inherited genetically but can also be acquired if they’re not handled properly over time. Some of these problems include: missing teeth, misaligned jaws, and crowded teeth. Most dentists would recommend having your child in for their first orthodontist appointment around the age of seven or eight, to have these problems fixed sooner rather than later.
Pediatric Gingivitis and/or Gum Disease
Most people think this condition can only occur in adults. However it is not uncommon to also see it in children. Gingivitis, as some people might know, is the precursor to gum disease. As we said earlier in this blog post, prolonged bad breath can be a tall tale sign of gum disease. Some other signs to look out for are inflamed and/or red gums and slight bleeding when brushing or flossing.
Overall, the importance of establishing a daily dental routine of brushing and flossing is key in preventing almost all of these issues.