Children can suffer through loads of tooth problems, from cavities and decay to crooked teeth. Although it may seem that you don’t need to worry about decay problems in younger children, you should get any issues fixed as soon as possible so that your child can continue to have a happy smile.
Causes of Problems In Very Young Children
Your child can develop tooth problems from any number of unhealthy habits, some of which you can prevent and control and some of which you may not be able to. If you send your baby to bed with a bottle in an effort to help her fall asleep, you may want to rethink that practice. Babies can develop a condition known as baby bottle tooth decay, where their teeth break down from constant exposure to sugars, either from the bottle or from breast milk. Other common childhood habits, such as thumb or lip sucking, can lead to tooth problems, according to Medicine Net.
Tooth Problems in Older Children
Some children are more prone to cavities and other tooth problems, no matter how much they brush, thanks to genetics, according to Kids Health. If you struggle with gingivitis and cavities, odds are your children will as well. Some older children also go through a period where they grind their teeth in their sleep. The grinding can cause wear and tear on the tooth, damaging its enamel. Many children also have problems with the alignment of their teeth.
Sometimes tooth damage can come out of nowhere. For instance, your child may have a perfectly healthy smile one day and then break or lose a tooth in a sports accident the next. Fortunately, in most cases, the tooth can be repaired or replaced. If a baby tooth falls out, your child’s dentist may put a spacer between his teeth to prevent misalignment until the permanent tooth comes in, according to Kids Health.
Children’s tooth problems are often treated the same that adult’s are. A child’s cavity should be filled in by his dentist, even if it is a cavity on a baby tooth. A broken tooth can be fixed with a crown. If your child grinds his teeth at night, he may need to wear a night guard to protect them from wear. Misaligned teeth are usually straightened with braces. According to Kids Health, orthodontic treatment options have come a long way, and wire braces have mostly been replaced with barely noticeable plastic options.
Preventing Tooth Problems
Sometimes good dental hygiene is all it takes to prevent tooth decay and cavities. You can prevent baby bottle tooth decay by limiting the amount of sugary fluids you give your child and by wiping her teeth and gums with a toothbrush or gauze after she eats. Teach older children how to brush and floss properly. You may also want to give them fluoride treatments to protect their teeth even more. Since teeth grinding is often related to stress, you may want to find ways to help your child relax.