7 Common Dental Issues In Children And How To Deal With Them

Ad Min - Saturday, April 24, 2021

Dental issues in adults and children are different. Dealing with dental issues in children is relatively easier because it is possible to detect them earlier and acted upon them in time before they get out of control and become serious. It is very important to start the children on the way to good dental health from the beginning to avoid later trouble of the teeth kind.

The common dental issues of children include:

  1. Dental cavities

Tooth decay is one of the most common problem in young children. Tooth decay occurs in children because of their high sugar diet. Mothers have a habit of adding sugar in their weaning food to make it more appealing to children, and thereby create a lifelong problem of giving children a sweet tooth. There is no need to add sugar to any of the food that is offered to children because most foods have a certain amount of inbuilt sugar and it is naturally palatable to children without added sugar. The sugar in the foods remain in the mouth long after mealtime. The mouth has micro-organisms of both kinds, good and bad. The bad organisms work on the leftover sugar in the mouth and build plaque, a thin layer on the teeth. Acid is produced as a by-product when bacteria is working on sugar. The acid in turn eats away the enamel on the teeth and slowly create cavities which will turn painful when bacteria reach roots and soft tissues in the inner layer of the tooth. The treatment requires the root to be cleaned and the cavity filled with a dental filling.

  1. Paediatric gingivitis

Gingivitis and gum disease are common in children. Gingivitis leads to gum disease in children and adults. The signs that something is wrong in the gums are swelling and reddish hue in the gums. There could be slight bleeding also if gums are not in perfect health. The reason for gum disease in children is poor dental hygiene due to poor oral care routine. Not all the time poor dental hygiene is the cause though. Sometimes when children have crowded and crooked teeth, the brushing is difficult and may not reach all areas of teeth, where plaque builds up leading to serious gum problems.

  1. Sensitivity in teeth

Teeth sensitivity is painful and hinder the growth of the child because it distracts child from whatever activity the child is involved in. There are many reasons for teeth sensitivity in children. The tooth decay is very common reason for tooth sensitivity because due to decay, the roots are exposed and open to sensation, which otherwise are protected by hard enamel of the exterior tooth surface. In some cases, eruption of permanent teeth may cause teeth to become sensitive, which is temporary and will go away after all teeth have erupted. Some children have a habit of grinding their teeth in sleep, called bruxism. This may cause teeth to wear out and expose inner surfaces which makes teeth sensitive. Sensitivity in children is treated by the paediatric dentist by treating the underlying cause.

  1. Orthodontic problems

Many children have teeth which are not perfect. The branch of dentistry and oral care has developed very fast, and we notice less than perfect teeth early on in children which was not the case in the past. When children are taken for their routine check-ups to the dentist, the dentist can show the anomaly in the teeth and may suggest orthodontic treatment. Most orthodontic problems are genetic. The common orthodontic problems in children are overbite, underbite and problems of spacing between teeth, like crowded or crooked teeth.  All these problems can be dealt with orthodontic treatment if you take the child for regular dental appointment.

  1. Thumb sucking

Thumb sucking in children is common. Babies have an instinct to suck, and thumb or finger sucking for the first few months is considered normal. Not all children suck their thumbs, and those who do usually leave the habit after a few months. But many children continue with thumb-sucking well into their preschool years due to various factors. Sucking the thumb puts pressure on the jaw and the teeth are pushed out and create overbite or underbite as the case may be. Overbite makes it difficult to chew and can affect the speech of the child. The paediatric dentist will help parents to wean the child away from thumb sucking and pacifiers as far as possible. Parents of children with a severe thumb sucking habit may be advised to opt for orthodontic treatment by the paediatric dentist.

  1. Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies arise when children are involved in school sports, games or just playing outdoors. Outdoor play in preschools, with swings, jungle gym or cycling can create mishaps. These accidents can result in cracked or chipped teeth. A tooth may come loose also if the accident is severe. If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, it is imperative to see the dentist immediately, so that he can try to reinstall the tooth with the help of a retainer so that the tooth can regrow the necessary roots and tissues which will make tooth rooted in its place again.

  1. Anxiety and fears related to dentist’s chair

Many adults are scared of visiting the dentist. The chair in the dental office is quite intimidating when you see it for the first time. To avoid dental fears of visiting the dentist can be reduced in children by introducing the child in a friendly environment for the first time. The first visit to the dentist should be congenial, and happy. Make it a social event rather than a compulsory visit. When the child is introduced to the dentist quite early on, he will be used to the idea of going to dentist as a routine, and chances are, he will take it as part of life.

The best way to avoid dental issues in children is to present a good role model for the children to copy. If you as a parent follow a healthy oral care routine, your child will follow in your footsteps. Some dental issues are unavoidable. Early intervention always helps. Make regular appointments with your dentist to avoid serious dental problems in later in your child’s life.

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