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Oral Healthcare in Children

May 23, 2021

Do you know that babies are born with teeth?

Yes, they are, but you can not see them as they are embedded in the gums. Oral healthcare for your child has to start from the beginning.

Even before he starts teething, gum care is important for healthy teeth to erupt. They begin breaking through the gums around six months of age.

Taking care of your child’s oral health is your responsibility in the infant years and a little beyond that. If you begin well, it will set them on the right track for the rest of their life.

Common Oral Healthcare Problems in Children

Here are 7 of the most common dental problems that kids and adolescents get:

  • Dental Caries (Cavities)
  • Tooth Sensitivity 
  • Oral Emergencies
  • Pediatric Gingivitis and Gum Disease
  • Orthodontic Issues
  • Thumb Sucking

Cavities 

Cavities or dental caries are one of the most common oral complaints of childhood in the USA.

If left untreated, they cause pain & infections that become worse with time and affect the child’s studies, talking, and eating. 

Tooth decay can happen in baby teeth as well as permanent ones. Do not shrug them off by thinking they are temporary and are lost anyway. 

You may not know if a child has a cavity. Look for these common signs:-

  • Dark or white spots on the tooth
  • Crankiness
  • Sensitivity to cold foods or drinks
  • Swelling in the mouth 
  • Evading food
  • Tiredness

If you are suspicious of a cavity, contact your pediatric dentist at Kirkland Dentistry. We will examine the child for signs of decay and then advise treatment accordingly.

Tooth Sensitivity

Causes of tooth sensitivity in children are:

Poor Brushing Habits

It leads to food lodgment in the teeth that irritates the gums

Tooth Decay

Decay eats into the enamel and exposes the inner layer which is more sensitive to heat and cold

Enamel Erosion

It may happen due to eating sour, acidic foods or drinks as well as too many sweets

Sinus Infections

Normal sinus infection may also cause your child’s teeth to become sensitive due to the sinuses pressing on the upper teeth, affecting both the nerves.

Loose Fillings

When a filling wears down, it can cause sensitivity when your kid drinks something hot or cold or bites down a hard piece of food.

Also Read: Misaligned Teeth & Don’t Want to Opt for Braces? Invisalign – A Perfect Solution for You

Oral Emergencies in Children

A dental emergency can happen to any child at any time.

The child may fall and break/crack a tooth, or she might bite her cheek and tongue resulting in bleeding or swelling, or get something stuck in the mouth.

It is important to take her to the dentist or the emergency room as early as possible.

Pediatric Gingivitis and Gum Disease

Do you notice a slight swelling in your baby’s gums or tenderness?

He may have gingivitis which is gum disease and you are required to consult your dentist immediately. It can become severe.

Noticeable Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Tender, reddish gums
  • Bleeding while brushing
  • Receding gums
  • Teeth moving away from each other

The causes can be a deficiency of vitamin or essential nutrients, poor oral hygiene, grinding, other medical conditions, hormonal changes, certain medications, or even genetics. 

Treatment usually involves plaque removal processes, medication, & surgery for advanced cases.

Orthodontic Issues

Most parents believe they must wait to start orthodontic treatment for their child till she develops her permanent teeth.

However, orthodontic treatment is easier if started early. Several orthodontic issues are easier to correct while the jaw is still growing.

The American Association of Orthodontists advocates that every kid have an orthodontic examination before she completes 7 years of age. 

An early evaluation accomplishes 2 proposals. One, early detection of problems will lead to easier & shorter treatment in the future.

Second,  a healthy prognosis will provide mental relief to parents.

Symptoms that your kid may require orthodontic treatment are early or late loss of baby teeth, difficulty in biting, breathing from the mouth, finger sucking, crowded, misaligned or buck teeth and clenching.

Thumb Sucking

Constant and active thumb sucking can sometimes cause misalignment of the permanent teeth and affect the jaw or the shape of the mouth.

Besides, finger sucking exposes your child to dirt, bacteria, and infections. 

If it continues beyond  6 months of age, the habit is difficult to get rid of. Beyond the age of 5 years, the teeth may get pushed out of alignment.

It is better to use pacifiers and a soothing hand when the child needs comfort. Reward and praise her when she does not suck.

Conclusion

Build healthy oral hygiene habits when the child is a baby. Make brushing time a fun time for your kid.

At Kirkland Premier Dentistry Dr. Gaurav Sharma has 400+ hours of Continuing education from the prestigious AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry) He applies for the latest research & advances in dentistry to provide the best dental care to patients.

Take her for regular checkups every six months. 

For any kind of dental emergency, feel free to contact us online or call the office.

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