About 48% of the twelve-year-olds and 55% of the six-year-olds experience tooth decay. But that’s not the only dental problem they may have; there are many oral conditions that they may suffer from right from their infancy until they reach puberty. Apart from discomfort and pain, these dental problems can have a negative impact on their nutrition and overall health. Here are a few common dental problems that children generally suffer from:
Baby bottle tooth decay
When the newly formed teeth of babies come into frequent contact with sugary drinks such as milk and juice, it can lead to tooth decay. Generally known as nursing bottle syndrome, early childhood caries or nursing caries, this condition is caused when a baby sleeps with a feeding bottle in its mouth. It might affect several teeth with black or brown patches on them. Sometimes children may even end up losing their tooth structure.
Children below 5 years of age tend to suck on their thumb for long durations. Sometimes they do it all night. It might give them a sense of emotional security and comfort; but it can be bad for their teeth. If the habit continues for long, their teeth can start protruding due to misalignment. They might even start finding it difficult to pronounce certain words. Apart from thumb sucking, problems like lip sucking and tongue thrusting too can cause such problems.
Deposits on teeth
Sometimes children may find certain soft deposits on their teeth, also known as plaque. These deposits when hardened can lead to tartar or calculus, which may need procedures like scaling for removal. If left unclear, these deposits can end up causing bad mouth odor and even gum disease, which can eventually lead to loss of teeth.
A gap appearing between teeth is a natural phenomenon in children especially in the formative stages. However, such spaces may end up causing misalignment. Sometimes there can also be teeth protrusion or overlapping of teeth. Although a cosmetic problem this can also interfere with their chewing, speech, and oral hygiene.
Most of these common dental problems can be prevented in children by taking preventive measures right from the early stages. Visiting a family dentist regularly should help in restricting the progress of such conditions, thereby preventing complications.
Nutrition is not the only thing that children need. They also require healthy teeth for their overall wellbeing. Ideally caring of teeth should start right from the day when the teeth appear in the mouth. Inculcating healthy oral hygiene habits is a must, irrespective of the age of children. A few things to keep in mind include:
- Not to let your baby sleep with a bottle of milk or sweetened water in his mouth
- Brushing your baby’s teeth using a soft toothbrush as soon as they begin to appear
- Making sure your children brush their teeth twice every day with plain water or a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that does not contain too much of fluoride.
Irrespective of what you do to prevent dental problems in your children, you have to take them to dental visits regularly.