Most parents have a common misconception that dental problems don’t occur until they are older, so they don’t care for their child’s baby teeth because they know they’ll fall out eventually.
Dental problems are most common among kids. Many of the issues are the same that affect adults. However, a child’s teeth are still developing, and they’re softer and younger than their permanent successors. If left untreated, they can cause infections, discomfort, misaligned tooth development, along with severe other dental problems as the child grows.
A lot goes into promoting good oral health for your kids. Along with brushing and flossing, diet and food choices have a significant impact on your dental health. Parents must understand the most common dental problems that their kids may face.
Most Common Child Teeth Problems
Listed below are the five most common dental problems to look out for in your kids, along with ways on how to avoid these from increasing:
1. Tooth Decay
This is the occurring dental problem among children. It is caused by certain types of bacteria that live and grow in your child’s mouth. Exposing your kids to the wrong kinds of foods will allow the plaque to produce acids and eat away at the tooth’s enamel or the hard surface of the teeth. The gumminess of the plaque keeps the acids in constant contact with the surface of the tooth, which eventually leads to the decaying of the tooth.
Carbohydrate-rich foods aid in plaque growth and eat away at your child’s teeth. The most common problem foods include candies, chocolate cookies, sour soda, and fruit juice. Cooked starches such as creamy pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread also contribute to plaque deposits. If your child has a carbohydrate-rich diet and inconsistent brushing habits can lead to tooth decay.
Children’s teeth are highly sensitive compared to adult teeth, and without proper, care tooth decay can rot away teeth. However, you’ll be happy to learn that tooth decay is an avoidable condition. It all depends upon your brushing techniques and how regularly you visit the dentist. This will significantly reduce the chance of a child developing tooth decay. Have your child brushing twice a day with approved fluoride toothpaste, make them a diet focusing on calcium, and make sure you limit their sugary food intake, especially before bedtime.
If your child is suffering from severe tooth decay, it is advised to consult your dentist in Sacramento, CA. They will guide you better on what to do considering your child’s case.
2. Sensitive Teeth
Another major problem that parents need to be careful about regarding their children is sensitive teeth. Suppose different types of hot or cold foods and fluids cause your child any form of irritation or discomfort. In that case, they are likely suffering from sensitive teeth. In most cases, even breathing in cold or hot air can trigger the pain. Sharp teeth are a common problem among kids and may lead to a more serious dental problem.
Most people believe that sensitive teeth occur in older people, but that is not the case. Kids are more prone to developing this condition. Children’s enamel is thinner than adults and can easily be worn down by plaque or acid from the wrong type of foods. As the enamel wears away, a child’s gums may begin to recede, leading to cracks in the surface of the tooth, exposing nerve endings. In most cases, sensitive teeth are an indication of undiagnosed cavities or tooth decay.
It is advised to give your child a soft-bristled toothbrush to use at home as a stiff bristles toothbrush can damage the surface of their teeth over time and scrape off enamel along with causing minor cracks in the tooth.
To combat sensitive teeth, your pediatric dentist in Sacramento, CA, can apply a sealant to your child’s teeth, strengthening the enamel and filling any cracks.
3. Baby Teeth Loss
Tooth loss is predictable; it is a natural stage of development. It is an exciting sign for most children as they are led to believe that the tooth fairy will visit soon, and their tiny baby tooth will be replaced with a grown-up one.
Commonly, the teeth that fall first are the middle front ones when the child is about six years of age. At the same time, molars aren’t lost until the child is between ten to twelve years of age. Most children have their complete set of 28 permanent teeth by the time they are thirteen years old. These are cases where the child is safe from any injury and plaque.
For many children, losing the primary or baby teeth is painless. Unless, of course, it refuses to fall out itself and is causing the kid pain. In this case, it is best to consult your dentist in Sacramento right away.
For kids that are into sports such as baseball, soccer, basketball, etc. It is common to run into some dental issues due to injury. Chipped, broken, loosened, and knocked out teeth can occur due to accidents. If the broken or loosened teeth are baby teeth, there is no need to worry as they will be replaced with adult teeth; however, chipped or damaged teeth require emergency dental work.
If a tooth is lost prematurely, it can cause the permanent tooth to develop poorly or be misaligned. It is best to consult your regular dentist in such cases.
4. Bad Breath
Bad breath is also known as halitosis, is common in kids and adults. A common misconception of bad breath is that it occurs due to the types of foods we eat. However, parents must understand that chronic bad breath in their children is also an indicator of a deeper root issue than eating stinky foods.
Bad breath or halitosis is caused by bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria then feed on the leftover food, fluid, and plaque, and as they eat, they produce hydrogen sulfide, which ends up causing a bad smell in the mouth. Bad breath is the same for all. Adults and children experience it in the morning, right after they wake up.
Bacteria multiply in the mouth during the night, thus leading to a case of morning breath. While this is common, if your child’s bad breath persists throughout the day and they complain of it, it’s probably a much larger issue.
There is a wide range of problems that indicate a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. These include:
- Gum problems
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
While these are the most common reasons behind halitosis, other issues can lead to bad breath. These include:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Tooth decay
- Digestive problems
Sometimes particular medication can also produce an unusual smelling breath. Proper oral and dental hygiene is the only way you can treat and prevent your bad breath.
5. Gum Disease
Gum diseases, also known as gingivitis, are the inflammation of the gum tissue. The primary causes of gingivitis are poor oral and dental hygiene, resulting in plaque buildup and can progress into bone and tooth loss.
Once the plaque and tartar deposits start to build upon the base of the teeth, they begin to affect the gums. A child’s gums are often red and swollen. They recede from the teeth and bleed easily after flossing in the early stage of gingivitis. Another critical indicator of gum disease is bad breath and a perpetually bad taste in the kid’s mouth.
In children, gum disease can come in three different forms:
- Chronic gingivitis: This is one of the most common conditions in children. Chronic gingivitis leads to swollen gum tissue that turns bright red and bleeds easily.
- Aggressive periodontitis: This condition is found in adolescents and young teenagers. Aggressive periodontitis is described by losing the alveolar bone, one of the tissues that support the teeth.
- Generalized aggressive periodontitis: This condition usually starts at puberty and can affect the entire mouth. The most common symptoms of generalized aggressive periodontitis are inflamed gums, loose teeth, and large calculus and plaque deposits.
Gum disease is preventable, and It can easily be avoided if you teach your kids these three simple steps:
- Daily brushing
- Dental visits
It is advised to take your child to a dentist for special rinses and deep cleaning for severe cases. If the infection has progressed, a dentist may suggest medications such as antibiotics.
Children rarely have perfect teeth without the help of their parents and dentist. There are many orthodontic cures available nowadays to help your children. The primary reason for orthodontic problems is often genetics, with the size and shape of the jaw growing together.
Some joint misalignment issue seen in children includes overbite, underbite, open bit, and spacing problems. It’s a good idea to bring your child to an orthodontic appointment around the age of seven since overcrowding and misalignment of your child’s teeth can result in jaw problems, cracked teeth, and oral hygiene issues.
What Parents and Caregivers Can do
- It is vital that you wipe their gums twice a day with a soft, clean cloth in the morning after their first feed and right before going to bed. It will wipe away bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.
- Start brushing twice a day with a soft, small bristled toothbrush and plain water when the teeth start coming in.
- When the baby turns one, visit the dentist to spot any signs of problems early.
- When the baby turns two, you can begin flossing between their teeth.
- Kids ages three and older should use only a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss your child’s teeth every night before going to bed.
- Monthly dentists appointments are vital.
How To Prevent Cavities
Cavities happen when there is a lack of proper care being given to the teeth. Food left on the teeth not being brush away is the primary reason for a cavity buildup. Once the acid collects on a tooth, it softens its enamel, causing a hole or cavity.
Keep the cavities away with the following habits:
- Start the suitable habits early. It is vital teaching your kids the importance of brushing their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly at night.
- Make sure your child is getting the maximum amount of fluoride. Regular use of fluoride toothpaste toughens the enamel, making it harder for the acid to penetrate. If the water supply in your home is not fluoridated, you can ask your dentist to provide fluoride supplements. However, you must keep in mind not to use too much fluoride as it can lead to tooth discoloration.
- Limit or avoid sugary foods such as juices, candy, especially gummies and chewy candies that stick to the root of your teeth. They can erode enamel and cause cavities. Whenever your child eats such foods, make sure you have them brush their teeth.
When Should Kids See A Dentist
It is recommended for parents to start taking their kids to the dentist as early as one year. These visits can help ensure a healthy set of teeth for your kids. It also helps them to get used to visiting the dentist and have less fear growing up.
If your child is in pain from any of the common teeth problems mentioned above, never take it upon yourself to fix the condition of your child’s gums or teeth. It is best to consult Soft Touch in Sacramento, CA. We will guide on what to do based your circumstances.