Oral health is very important to a child’s health and development. Teaching proper oral hygiene to your child can help prevent many issues, but there are some issues that may still persist. We have compiled a list of the most common issues. If your child is suffering from any of these, consult with your dentist.
Issues That May Affect Your Child’s Teeth
Tooth decay, teeth grinding, thumbsucking, and over-retained baby teeth are some of the most common issues that can affect a child’s oral health. Know the signs and understand that help is available.
Tooth decay is caused by certain mouth bacteria that comes from carbohydrate-rich foods (sugar-filled desserts, cookies, candy, soda, and much more) and cooked starches (like potatoes, rice, etc.). The combination of deposits and plaque generated from those foods forms acids that can damage and begin to erode teeth.
Encouraging your child to brush their teeth daily, floss and bringing them to the dentist for regular check-ups can help prevent tooth decay and keep your child’s teeth strong.
Also known as bruxism, grinding of teeth is a common and often involuntary habit with children. The problem is often eliminated as the child gets older. If the problem persists, a night guard might be needed to protect your child’s adult teeth.
Thumbsucking is a natural reaction in most children and provides the child with comfort and security. Most children naturally stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of 2 to 4. If children continue to suck their thumbs after adult teeth begin to come in, it can be a cause for concern. Thumbsucking can be damaging to your child’s oral health and may cause adult teeth to misalign.
There are a few things you can do to encourage your child not to suck their thumb:
- Praise a child when they don’t suck their thumb, don’t scold when they do.
- Provide comfort and security, that is why most children suck their thumbs.
- Allow older children to choose their method of stopping.
Over-Retained Primary (Baby) Teeth
Sometimes it can seem like children hold onto their baby teeth for a long time. Sometimes primary teeth need to be pulled so that adult teeth can come forward.
If baby teeth are retained into teenage years – it could be a sign of a problem. Your child may have congenitally missing or impacted permanent teeth. Consult your dentist and determine the appropriate steps for your child’s dental health.
Anxiety about going to the dentist is very common and can persist into adulthood if not assuaged. At Park Avenue, we take steps to ensure that your child feels as comfortable as possible when they come into the office. We pride ourselves on being a family dentistry practice and we want you and your child to feel as comfortable and secure as possible.
To read more about what you can do to help your child’s fear of the dentist, check out our family dentistry page.
We Are Here to Help
We understand how important your child’s health is to you, and their oral health is an important element of their overall health. As a family dentistry practice, and pediatric dentists, we can address any issues that may be affecting your child and help keep their teeth healthy and strong. Give us a call or come in today and meet with us. We are here to help!