Several problems affect the oral and dental health of children, including lip sucking, early loss of a tooth, thumb sucking, and tooth decay. While baby teeth are just temporary, and permanent teeth will replace them eventually, it is still advisable to keep baby teeth healthy to improve his/her overall health.
The following are just some of the pediatric dental conditions that you should watch out for.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Also called early childhood caries, baby bottle tooth decay is a result of exposing the teeth of your toddler or baby to sugar-filled drinks for a prolonged period. The decay might happen each time you put your toddler or baby to bed together with a sippy cup or bottle containing juice or milk. It might also happen if you use a bottle as a pacifier. Other major causes of cavities are sugary candies, and constant breastfeeding.
To avoid this pediatric dental condition, avoid giving your baby a bottle containing milk or sugary drinks as a means to comfort or calm him/her. Give him/her a pacifier or plain water, instead. Avoid dipping his/her pacifier in honey, sugary liquid, or sugar, too. When nursing your baby at night, do not forget to take your breast out of his/her mouth once he/she falls asleep.
Furthermore, you should consult a dentist regarding the fluoride needs of your baby. In case of non-fluoridated drinking water, your dentist might recommend the use of fluoride treatments or supplements to avoid baby bottle tooth decay, or early childhood caries.
Cavities are also among the dental problems that might affect your child. Caused by the buildup of bacteria in the plaque coating, it can lead to a hole in a tooth. You can prevent cavities by ensuring that your child sticks to a healthy diet while having regular visits to a dentist. Good oral hygiene is also crucial in removing leftover food particles and bacteria that might cause the development of cavities.
If you have an infant, then a wise tip is to use a clean washcloth or wet gauze to wipe plaque from his gums and teeth. Depending on the actual size of the cavity, the treatment may include a root canal, crown, filling, or extraction.
Your child is also at risk of developing periodontal or gum disease if you do not let him/her practice proper oral hygiene. The problem with this disease is that it can lead to tooth and bone loss, as well as inflammation. Early stages of gum disease or gingivitis make gums prone to bleeding, swelling, and redness that will eventually lead to teeth getting loose and falling out.
To avoid gum disease, make it a point to teach your child daily flossing and brushing. Visit a dentist right away if he/she starts showing signs gum disease.
Often characterized by swollen gums, abscesses often occur due to an infection caused by a nearby tooth. Whether it hurts or not, it is crucial to consult a dentist when it happens. This is because leaving it untreated may only cause the other teeth to get damaged. It might even cause an infection to the brain, neck, and face.
Other pediatric dental conditions that you have to watch out for are toothache, ectopic eruption, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, tooth sensitivity, and canker sores. It is crucial to start taking care of your baby’s teeth as early as possible to prevent issues in the later stages of his/her life.