Pediatric Dental Problems 101 – What Parents Need to Know
June 27, 2023
A child's teeth are developing which means that they are softer and more delicate than permanent adult teeth. That leaves them prone to various dental problems ranging from a tooth that gets broken on the playground to plaque that is not removed due to careless brushing. If pediatric dental problems are not caught in time, they can lead to serious conditions like misaligned tooth development, etc. Many of these conditions could result in the need for pediatric tooth extraction. Here are a few common dental conditions parents need to be aware of so that they can be treated early before the conditions become serious.
- Tooth Decay: Children are careless when it comes to brushing and flossing their teeth. This, coupled with a common predilection for sweets leads to an increased likelihood of cavities developing. From a small cavity to major tooth decay leading to tooth loss is a small step. It is vital to not only teach children about the importance of oral hygiene but to supervise their brushing regimen until you are sure that they will do it right.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Tooth decay, worn enamel, new permanent teeth, cracked or missing fillings, teeth grinding and even orthodontic treatments can cause tooth sensitivity. The sensitivity is not only uncomfortable, it can also affect a child's focus and ability to comprehend and learn.
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- Gingivitis and Gum Disease: These are common problems for adults which is why parents often presume that children are not affected by these conditions. Gingivitis and gum disease are common dental problems in children. Besides pain and discomfort, gum diseases can lead to premature teeth loss and teeth growing in a misaligned manner.
- Orthodontic Problems: Children often need orthodontic treatment to correct crooked or misaligned teeth. These problems are often caused by genetics and are unavoidable. Early detection of orthodontic problems can prevent problems like underbite, overbite,
open bite, gaps between teeth and other similar problems from becoming serious issues.
- Dental Injuries: When children play, falls and minor injuries are to be expected. Dental injuries such as broken, chipped or cracked teeth, or even teeth that are knocked out, require urgent treatment. If your child suffers a dental injury, contact your dentist without delay or, if that is not possible, take the child to the emergency room.
- Grinding: This involuntary action is common in toddlers and this, along with clenching the jaws, is a reaction to the discomfort felt as the permanent teeth emerge to replace the baby ones. This normally stops once the adult teeth are in place, but if it goes on too long, teeth enamel could get damaged.
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- Bad Breath: Halitosis is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth. Bad breath on waking up is common in children, as it is in adults. However, if it continues through the day, it is often a sign of an infection or other major problem.
- Baby Teeth Loss: Baby teeth loss is usually painless, but if it causes the child discomfort or the emergence of a permanent tooth is blocked by a baby tooth that is not falling out naturally, it is a matter that could snowball into something major. Early detection of possible problems can help avoid more serious conditions and the need for extensive treatment.
All parents want to give their children the best pediatric dental care. Knowing how to spot potential problems early helps to reduce the severity of the condition and the complexity of the treatment that is required. That is something both parents and children will be thankful for. The best way to ensure your child's oral health is with regular dental checkups and also by having potential problems diagnosed and treated as early as possible by your family dentist.