All sorts of things can lead to your child having dental problems—from thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier use, tooth decay, etc.—and it can cause a need for expensive treatment. Maintaining good oral health habits can help, but there’s other things you can do to help prevent the most common problems as well.
Tooth decay is by far the most common chronic disease for children, five times more common than asthma and seven times more than hay fever. Tooth decay in childhood can also predict permanent tooth decay as an adult.
Baby teeth are susceptible to tooth decay if exposed to an abundance of sugar or acid from things like soda or candy. The sugar causes bacteria growth and leads to cavities as well as decay.
If not treated, Tooth decay spread and cause permanent damage as well as resulting in:
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is a serious but treatable disease that can, if left untreated, lead to tooth loss. Bleeding gums and/or chronic bad breath can be symptoms of gum disease, which is a result from poor oral hygiene that causes the gum tissue to become inflamed.
While it’s common for young children to suck their thumb, it usually stops around four years old. Continuing to thumb suck or use a pacifier past a certain age, especially after their permanent teeth have come in, can cause jaw issues, crooked teeth, and other dental issues like overcrowding.
Teeth that grow in crooked or are overcrowded (where teeth don’t have space to grow into the mouth and end up having more than one tooth try to grow in the same spot) may require having teeth removed and/or braces to straighten.
Bruxism—more commonly known as “teeth grinding”—can be common among children. It can cause premature wearing away of teeth, as well as headaches and pain.
All of the problems listed above are serious, and need dental treatment.
Important tips to help prevent these problems:
Teach your child good habits, like brushing and flossing twice a day
Don’t give your child sugary drinks, or fall asleep with a bottle
Schedule regular checkups with their dentist
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