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As parents we want the best to happen to our children, including their dental health. As soon as the first tooth erupts in the mouth, it is essential to start maintaining oral hygiene.
Dental problems are common in children of all ages, so it becomes important on the part of parents to educate themselves about the kind of dental issues that can occur and the preventive or curative measures to be taken.
As the child is born, he may go through various dental problems during his childhood. These common oral problems are explained below:
Natal Teeth & Neonatal Teeth
Teething is a natural process which generally begins in the first year of a baby’s development. Most babies get their first tooth around 6 months of age.
Generally the bottom front teeth erupt first. While most infants get their teeth months after birth, some are born with 1 or more teeth!
Teeth present in the mouth at birth are called Natal teeth in medical terms. These are relatively rare, about 1in every 2000 births. You don’t have to worry if your baby has natal teeth, unless the teeth interfere with feeding, or are a choking hazard. Your paediatrician can advise you to remove natal teeth
There are some babies who get teeth soon after birth, generally in the first three months. These are called Neonatal teeth.
Natal and Neonatal tooth are loose and without root. These types of teeth can put your baby at risk for: choking from accidental swallowing of the loose tooth, feeding problems, tongue injuries, injuries to the mother during breast-feeding
But if your baby is born with loose teeth that have no roots, your doctor might recommend removal after looking at an x-ray.
When baby turn in to 6-8 month of age her teeth start to come in mouth, when primary teeth are coming in mouth baby start irritating
Baby may have teething symptoms like Fussiness diarrhoea, disrupted sleeping, gum itching, gum pain etc.
Here you can read what to do in teething problems
Tooth Decay Due To Baby Bottle
One of the most common problems in infants and toddlers is excessively decayed front teeth due to use of baby bottles.
Such type of decay occurs due to prolonged exposure to sugary drinks. The bacteria present in the mouth of the kids thrive on sugar and cause tooth decay.
If an baby sleeps with a mouthful of breast milk or formula, he/she is likely to be affected with tooth decay. Below are few ways to avoid decay due to feeding bottle:
- Do not give sugary drinks or milk as a comforter to your little one during the daytime. Instead, offer him a pacifier or plain drinking water.
- It is advisable not to dip your baby’s pacifier in any sugary object like honey or sugar.
- Avoid putting your baby to bed with any sugary drink. Opt for a pacifier instead.
- Almost all syrup contains sweetener which is stick to teeth and causes tooth decay. Wipe out baby’s teeth after taking any syrup medicine
- Emphasize teaching your child to sip from a sipper when he turns one. This will reduce his teeth exposure to sugary drinks.
Most common reason for tooth pain is decay in teeth; children are taking sugary stuff like chocolate, candy et, they not doing proper brushing, all leads to cavities in milky teeth (primary teeth)
Initial cavity requires tooth filling where as deep cavities may require root canal treatment in child.
Best way to prevent tooth decay in child is teach proper tooth brushing of teeth, use kids special fluoridated tooth paste and professional fluorides application in milk teeth by dentist
Many parents thought that why should do dental treatment in young kids, but remember. If you post pond any dental treatment in child, child has to suffer for that. And dental treatment in child is completely safe.
Early Loss of Tooth
There can be multiple reasons for a premature loss of baby teeth like- tooth decay, injury or cavities in teeth which on not treated timely.
In case of an early loss of a tooth, the adjacent tooth may get tipped or shift leaving very little to no space for the new permanent tooth.
When the permanent tooth erupts due to lack of space, it may get tilted and irregularly align in mouth. A crooked tooth gives rise to lots of other problems.
Apart from interfering with proper speech development, it can also cause chewing problems and problems with the aesthetics of the child.
If your child loses a tooth early, take him to a dentist to get a space maintainer. A space maintainer is made of acrylic or metal, and it holds the space for the upcoming permanent tooth. Once the new permanent tooth starts to emerge, the dentist will remove the space maintainer.
Teeth Damage Due To Playing Sports
Very often we come across children who lose their teeth due to face injuries while playing various kinds of sports.
Generally, a fall on the face causes the front teeth to pop out of the mouth. Many times, teeth may not fall off completely but can be broken and eventually turn painful.
Such teeth can be treated either by removing the remaining broken fragment, root canal treatment or a filling depending on the type of injury.
If your child is into too many sport activities, best way to prevent such happenings is by wearing a mouth guard while at play. A mouth guard is a hard protective, plastic transparent covering on the teeth that protects teeth from receiving a blow. Mouth guard is customised by the dentist according to the child’s teeth and jaw size.
Paediatric Gum Disease
You may have thought that gum disease is a dental problem only seen in adults. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Gum disease can commonly occur in children. It is often seen as red, swollen gums, and slight bleeding when brushing your child’s teeth.
Reason for gum disease in child is
- Poor oral care
- Abscess or pus in gums
- Mouth breathing
Visit a dentist for if you find any visible change in gums
Oral habit in child
It’s normal and healthy for infants to suck their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, or toys. Object sucking gives children a sense of emotional security and comfort.
But if thumb sucking continues beyond the age of 5, when the permanent teeth begin to come in, dental problems can occur.
So, it is important to understand till what age this habit should be allowed to continue. Depending on the frequency, intensity, and duration of the sucking, the teeth can be pushed out of alignment, causing them to protrude
Because of the misalignment of teeth, the child may also have difficulty with the correct pronunciation of words.
Solution We as adults should help children quit this habit of thumb sucking. Forcing children to give up thumb sucking may have a negative impact on them.
Rather, if your child sucks his thumb, politely ask him to quit this habit. You can also tell him that if he stops sucking his thumb, you will reward him.
If your child is older and still sucks his thumb, try to find out the reason why he is doing so. It may be because of stress, anxiety, or any other issue bothering him.
The habit of swallowing the food while thrusting the tongue forward on the upper lips is known as ‘tongue thrusting’.
It has bad effects similar to thumb sucking and can cause the teeth to protrude out. This might also interfere in proper speech.
It is best to consult a speech pathologist in this case. A speech pathologist can work out a plan for your child to help him work on his chewing muscle strength and to develop an alternative swallowing technique.
Lip sucking involves frequently holding the lower lip beneath the upper front teeth. Sucking of the lower lip may occur by itself or in combination with thumb sucking. This habit has effects similar to that of thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
Above are most common dental problems found in child? By reading this article now you will be aware of any problems occurs in mouth. So don’t hesitate to consult your dentist.