Common Dental Problems in Children and How Your Dentist Can Help

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Common Dental Problems in Children and How Your Dentist Can Help

With their emerging teeth, growing jaw and different patterns of behaviours, children may encounter a unique set of risks to their oral health. As a result, they are often prone to specific dental problems that can be treated at your dental specialist. In this article, let’s outline five common issues, and explain how your dentist can assist.

Issue #1: Tooth decay

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria associated with plaque, which creates acid that can eat away at the surface of the teeth, eroding the enamel and exposing the sensitive inner parts of the tooth. This may cause your child’s tooth pain or tooth sensitivity, and it may also result in ‘cavities’ or ‘caries’ (holes in the teeth).

This plaque and bacteria flourishes when a diet that is high in sugar is consumed, and the subsequent plaque is not properly or systematically removed. Children’s baby teeth are more prone to decay as well, heightening the risk. Paired with their limited motor control and dependence on their parents to implement a proper brushing and flossing technique for them, children often experience high rates of tooth decay.

Your dentist Drummoyne can assist in a number of ways. They can provide fillings to prevent the decay from spreading; use fissure sealants to reduce the risk of decay forming in the first place; undertake dental hygiene cleans to remove plaque; undertake fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth; and provide advice on nutrition and brushing and flossing techniques.

Issue #2: Fractured or broken teeth

Children are often active and spend time in environments where there could be tripping hazards. They also engage in a range of sports and outdoor play. Exploring and having fun is a great way for children to stay healthy but it does inevitably put them in situations where they can experience a broken or damaged tooth.

If your child breaks or damages a tooth, your dentist Inner West can assist to restore their wellbeing. The first step will always be relieving your child’s pain and after that, to assess the appropriate treatment method, which will differ significantly depending on whether the tooth is a baby tooth or an adult tooth. It pays to be aware of an emergency dentist, who can arrange a timely, same day appointment in case of a dental emergency.

Your dental clinic may be able to assist with a custom-made mouthguard to protect your child’s teeth if they play sports. This mouthguard from your dentist Five Dock will be more comfortable and effective than a store-bought mouthguard.

Issue #3: Thumb sucking

Thumb sucking (or dummy/pacifier sucking) is based on a natural instinct, but it can affect the alignment of the teeth, and if it goes unchecked over time, it can affect the growth of the jaws and teeth. It may cause issues such as protruding front teeth, backwards angled bottom teeth, an open bite, or a crossbite where the bottom and top rows of teeth do not fit together correctly.

Your dentist Leichhardt can explain how to discourage thumb sucking behaviour, offer thumb sucking guards or aids that limit and discourage the behaviour, and even undertake orthodontic treatment to restore existing impacts of thumb sucking behaviour.

Issue #4: Premature tooth loss or appearance of adult teeth

Baby teeth play an important role as placeholders for adult teeth. They help to guide adult teeth into place and a child’s oral health as an adult can depend on how healthy their baby teeth were. Cavities caused by tooth decay or dental trauma may cause the premature loss of baby teeth, as can a number of other conditions. This can heighten the risk of orthodontic issues such as crowding of teeth, impaction of emerging teeth, and teeth emerging in the incorrect angle or placement.

Your dental specialist can play an important role in preventative dentistry, to reduce the risk of this happening in the first place. If teeth are lost early, they can also provide treatment methods to reduce the risk of the missing tooth causing issues. This may include the use of a space maintainer to maintain the space between teeth.

It is also possible that your child will experience ‘shark teeth’ which is when the permanent teeth begin to emerge before the baby teeth have been lost, resulting in two rows of teeth. This may not require treatment but should be examined by your dentist Ashfield to confirm.

Issue #5: Malocclusion or misalignment

In the perfectly functioning mouth, the teeth are positioned closely side by side, and the top and bottom rows close together perfectly. However, it is common for children to develop alignment issues as their adult teeth emerge, which may require orthodontic treatment. Common issues that are addressed by orthodontic treatment include:

  • Overcrowding: when the teeth next to each other overlap due to a lack of available space
  • Spaced teeth: when there are gaps between the teeth within a row
  • Overbite: when the upper teeth are further forward and overlap the bottom teeth
  • Underbite: when the bottom teeth project in front of the top teeth
  • Open bite: when the top teeth and bottom teeth do not close together when closing the mouth
  • Cross bite: where the teeth do not come together in the correct position, such that the top or bottom teeth fit inside the other row

These alignment issues can usually be redressed with orthodontic treatment, including braces for children. The benefits of braces at your dentist Haberfield are not only cosmetic and supportive of your child’s confidence. Well aligned teeth can be easier to clean, cause less pain, make children less prone to dental issues, aid digestion, reduce the risk of tooth decay, and bring about a range of other benefits.

Talk to  Haberfield Dental Practice for more information. 

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