Preventing Dental Problems in Kids
Childhood is a wonderful experience of exploration that is filled with new adventures and memories that last a lifetime. No matter how hard you try to shelter your little ones from the harsh realities of life, they are bound to experience it at some point during their childhood. Remember a time when you were little, biting on a jawbreaker only to find a missing tooth later on? Well, dental problems are part and parcel of life. As an adult or a child, you are bound to face them.
Developing good oral hygiene must be encouraged from the start to avoid dental problems in the future. Parents are always looking out for the well-being of their children and should start by encouraging them to take care of their teeth by regularly brushing and restricting the consumption of candy before bed. While teeth problems in kids can’t be avoided altogether, they can be limited or controlled. Before delving into some of the most common dental issues experienced by children, let’s have a look at the tooth decay stages.
Tooth Decay Stages
- The first identifiable sign of tooth decay is the presence of white spots over the enamel. This is most commonly caused by acids and sugar that attack the tooth below the enamel leading to demineralization of the tooth.
- The next of the tooth decay stages is the decay of the enamel that moves from the base upwards to the top.
- It is only in the third stage that children face symptoms of tooth decay like pain and irritation in the gums. In this stage, the dentin begins to decay.
- Once dentin decay takes place, decay of the pulp isn’t far behind. It is here where the child experiences severe pain and finds it difficult to chew his or her food.
- The final stage of tooth decay is known as abscess formation. It is during this stage that dental caries reach the periodontal area. This becomes a matter of grave concern and should be avoided by practicing regular dental hygiene.
Most Common Dental Problems in Kids
- Cavities- This is one of the most common of all teeth problems in kids. Children who have a sugar-heavy diet are most likely to develop cavities. The sticky plaque that accumulates on the surface of the teeth eats away at the enamel. A simple solution to avoid this is to monitor your child’s diet and supervise them while they are brushing their teeth. However, if a cavity does develop, it isn’t the end of the world as it can be easily fixed by tooth filling.
- Tooth Sensitivity- Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that plagues both the young and old. However, in children, it tends to be more irritating. It causes discomfort and discourages a child from eating. Believe it or not, it is one of the factors that demoralizes your little one from brushing his or her teeth. Some of the primary causes of tooth sensitivity include cavities, acid erosion, teeth grinding and newly formed permanent teeth.
- Gum Disease- This can occur in children of all ages and does so in those with poor dental health. Gum disease is severe as it results in the deterioration of the gums. One of the first stages of gum disease is gingivitis. It is most often characterized by red, swollen gums and slight bleeding.
- Orthodontic Problems- Unfortunately, some problems arise because of genetics and no fault of the parents or child. The size and shape of the jaw play a crucial role in determining a child’s overbite, underbite and teeth spacing. Irregularities in either of them often result in a lack of self-confidence.
- Thumb Sucking- What seems to be a harmless act, at first sight, can cause dental problems later on. Excessive thumb sucking or overuse of a pacifier can hamper tooth formation and often leads to an open bite. Open bite is a condition where the upper front teeth don’t align and come together with the lower front teeth, resulting in a gap when the mouth is closed.
- Grinding- This is an involuntary habit that exists in toddlers. However, if the habit persists and isn’t broken, it increases the chances of damaging the enamel, causing tooth decay.
Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a gradual process that takes place over an extended period. If nipped in the bud, it could eliminate complexities that may arise later in your child’s life. Here are a few tips to ensure dental care.
- Inculcate the habit of regular teeth brushing activity in your little ones.
- Once your child is over two years old, you can start flossing his or her teeth.
- Limit sugary items and keep a check on your child’s diet.
- Regular visits to the dentist can be a good way of avoiding possible dental issues.
Here at EuroKids, we strive to achieve the overall development of your little one, starting from dental care to enlightening the mind of your toddler. We believe that the mind of a child is a blank slate, waiting to be written on. Our group of experts guide and nurture your little ones into autonomous learners who are equipped with the tools to meet the challenges of life. Visit our blog to know more about child development.