Common dental problems for children and how to prevent them
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues in children. It occurs when the sugar and starch in food interact with the bacteria in plaque to form an acid that attacks the enamel on the teeth. This can lead to cavities and eventually, tooth decay.
To prevent tooth decay in children, it’s important to establish a good oral hygiene routine early on. Encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and use mouthwash regularly. It’s also important to limit sugary snacks and drinks, and encourage them to drink plenty of water.
Early Childhood Caries
Early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay, is a type of tooth decay that affects young children. It occurs when children are put to bed with a bottle filled with sugary drinks, such as juice or milk, allowing the sugar to pool around the teeth for extended periods of time.
To prevent early childhood caries and decrease the risk, it is important to establish good habits at home preventive measurement such as:
- Avoid frequent consumption of food containing sugar (juices, soft drinks, sweetened tea) in a baby bottle or sippy cup.
- Breast feeding after the first primary tooth has erupted and other dietary food containing carbohydrates are introduced
- Baby bottle use after 12 months
Additionally, we encourage a child to establish a dental home within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age. A pediatric dental specialist will help review oral hygiene instructions, nutritional counseling which include anticipatory guidance for prevention of oral disease.
Tooth erosion is a condition in which the enamel on the teeth is worn away due intrinsic and extrinsic factors , causing sensitivity and fracturing of tooth structure. This can occur as a result of the following factors:
- Consuming acidic foods and drinks, such as sports drinks, citrus food/drinks, -Medications
- Chewable Vitamin C tablets that are consumed frequently
- Medical Conditions such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Bulimia Nervosa
To prevent tooth erosion in children, it’s important to limit their consumption of acidic foods and drinks. Encourage your child to drink water after consuming acidic foods and drinks, and to rinse their mouth with water to help neutralize the acid. Consult with a dental pediatric specialist if your child experiences tooth erosion.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. Children are susceptible to gum disease if they have poor oral hygiene or if they consume sugary foods and drinks regularly.
To prevent gum disease in children, it’s important to encourage good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly. Additionally, limit your child’s consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and encourage them to drink plenty of water.
By being aware of the common dental issues that can affect children and taking steps to prevent them, you can help to ensure that your child’s teeth and gums remain healthy. Regular visits to the dentist, along with a good oral hygiene routine, can help catch any problems early and prevent serious dental problems from developing.
Get your child’s dental health on the right track and schedule a visit with our friendly and knowledgeable team at Tooth Town Dentistry for Kids in Indian Trail, North Carolina!
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