A dental visit can be a traumatizing experience at any age; but going to the dentist as a child(ren) could be frightening. As with doctor visits your child may cry, kick, and scream throughout the entire appointment. Do not let this deter you from finding the right Pediatric Dentist to fit the needs for you and your child(ren). In doing so you will be better prepared to tackle any dental problems your child(ren) may face.
Surprisingly, premature tooth loss, tongue thrusting, thumb sucking, and tooth decay are included in the long list of problems that can adversely affect a child’s oral health. Even though your child’s baby teeth are temporary and are excepted to fall out being traded for permanent ones; it is still deemed crucial to sustain healthy baby teeth in regards to his or her health on a whole.
Keeping your child’s well being at the forefront, there are some general dental problems that children commonly face that parents should know about.
Is your child showing signs if tongue thrusting? He or she may need a speech pathologist to help alleviate this tendency. In seeing the pathologist there will a strategy put in place that will allow your child to adapt a new thinking process in regards to swallowing and strengthen his or her chewing muscles.
When does tongue thrusting occur? It occurs when a child seals his or her mouth while swallowing thrusting the tongue towards the lips. Placing a heavy amount of unwanted pressure on the child’s teeth, eventually leading to shifting, causing the possibility of an overbite, and possible issues with speech.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Also known as nursing bottle syndrome or childhood caries, baby bottle tooth decay happens with children whose teeth have had to much contact with liquids containing high volumes of sugar for example: sugar water, fruit juice, formula, milk, and other sweetened drinks. Shockingly, tooth decay can also be caused by breast milk. These drinks easily start converting into simple sugars and while in your child’s mouth the bacteria present feeds on the sugars aiding in the advancement of tooth decay.
Can it be avoided? Yes, start by not laying your baby down with a bottle that has anything other than water. Take time the time to cleanse your child’s teeth with a damp wash cloth or their toothbrush (please make sure if using a tooth brush it is the one recommended for the age of the child) after each feeding when possible (please remember to clean your child’s tongue this aids in fresh breath as well as the non –development of thrush). Please even though some claim to be safe if swallowed stay clear of toothpaste until your child can comprehend when not to swallow.
Tooth decay can cause a great deal of pain making it hard to eat, when left untreated. The fact is baby teeth are the road map for future adult teeth. If the road map is damaged or destroyed it can’t guide the adult teeth as needed. Crowded or crooked permanent teeth could be the outcome, leading to braces later on. In really bad cases abscesses can form, making it is possible for an infection to spread beyond the mouth.
Parents please note thumb sucking is more often than not, used as a soothing mechanism. Still, as adults, we have something we use to soothe us when we need it. So, please keep this in mind when attempting to get your child to break the habit. Most young children are very oral, meaning they truly find a true sense of comfort from having thumbs, fingers, toys, pacifiers and for some even their blankets or pillows in their mouth to suck on. Nevertheless, if at all possible, try to have your child weaned by age five because that is usually when the development of permanent teeth start. Most importantly, be patient, be encouraging, use positive reinforcement if needed, and keep in mind you do not want to leave child anxious in the process.
Duration, intensity, and frequency can lead to teeth pushed out of alignment, causing an overbite or crooked or crowded teeth. Your child in turn may have problems with upper and lower jaws alignment and pronunciation.
Now You Know
It is clear that your child (ren) have can’t be dealt with the way we would treat ourselves or another adult. Their needs are specific and or special and must be handled accordingly. This is why seeking out the help of a pediatric dentist or a family practice dental office is ideal. Lastly, for those of you wondering, when should I make that first dental appointment? Make that appointment after your child’s first birthday or when their first tooth comes in whichever happens first; as suggested by The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Please remember we lead by example and the sooner certain things are implemented and maintained in a household the better for your child’s well being.