Parents Worry. About Everything. Including Concerns About Your Child’s Teeth.
As a Pediatric Dental Group in Northern California who has treated thousands upon thousands of little teeth, we want to tell you it is ok to have concerns about your child’s teeth. Dental trouble can start earlier than you’d expect depending on cleaning habits, genetics and diet. In fact, many parents have received the nasty shock of discovering cavities on their baby’s teeth. How can that happen when those little teeth are pretty much brand new? Unfortunately, infant cavities are more prevalent than many parents realize. It’s just one of the potential issues that could wreak havoc on your children’s teeth. For this reason, it’s recommended that you find out what these problems are so you can be proactive in preventing them. The following are the most commonly encountered among children’s teeth:
- Baby bottle tooth decay – This is basically early childhood caries. You can prevent this from developing by being in the habit of wiping your baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad even before milk teeth erupt. As soon as teeth show up, start brushing with a child’s toothbrush and a little bit of fluoride toothpaste. Also, remember not to let your baby go to bed with a bottle.
- Early milk tooth loss – Sometimes a child loses a milk tooth prematurely, whether naturally or by accident. The important thing is to maintain the space so that adult teeth won’t erupt there instead of where they should actually go.
- Bad bite – Also referred to as malocclusion, this is usually a concern with kids 6 to 12 years of age. When their permanent teeth come in crooked, crowded, or in any way out of proper alignment, they run a higher risk of cavities and gum disease since the teeth would be harder to clean. A bad bite affects the development of their jaws as well as the way they eat and speak. It also puts some teeth at risk for fractures, chips and faster wearing. Correction (i.e., using braces) is necessary to avoid the problems brought on by a bad bite.
- Dental emergencies – Children are particularly accident prone, so you may one day find yourself dealing with a cracked, chipped, or even knocked out tooth. If they’re active in sports, it’s a good idea to get them a mouth guard to protect their teeth, lips, and jaws. A visit to the dentist can fix any cosmetic issue, but sometimes other dental emergencies may require a visit to the ER. Knowing what to do could spell the difference between saving and losing a tooth, so find out what you need to do in cases where a child is at risk of losing his or her tooth.
Common parent concerns about your child’s teeth aren’t limited to the dental issue themselves. For instance, you’ll probably be concerned about certain dental procedures that require the use of anesthesia or sedation. As a parent you may also want to be vigilant about discouraging thumb sucking, which could lead to malocclusion, and applying sealant, which would help prevent decay.
Having these common parent concerns about your child’s teeth is the first step in protecting them. Those who are unaware wouldn’t know what to do to give the best dental care for their kids. You would.