As a parent, you want the best for your child. This includes giving them a great start to a life of good oral health. To achieve this, it’s important to promote good oral hygiene from early on in life. Even before their first tooth appears. It also pays to have the support of a family dentist you can trust.
In this article, we discuss 5 common dental issues for children and how to avoid them.
Effective tooth brushing and flossing is difficult for young children to get right. This combined with a child that may have a diet that is high in sugar puts them at higher risk of tooth decay. Tooth decay happens as a result of bacteria in plaque that accumulates on the surface of a tooth. The sugar feeds the bacteria and bacteria then produces acid that causes the tooth to demineralise. Enough demineralisation can result in cavities.
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues for children. In the early stages of demineralisation prior to any cavity, it is reversible. But cavities left untreated can lead to your child needing major dental treatment or even premature tooth loss. Primary teeth get replaced with permanent teeth later in your child’s life. However, they play important roles in the development of your child’s jaw, speech and the positioning of their permanent teeth. So, it’s important to look after them.
There are a few ways you can prevent tooth decay in children. Their oral health regime should be supervised until they can do it well themselves, usually around the age of 8. Making sure their teeth get an effective clean will go a long way in preventing tooth decay. A good diet is also essential.
The early signs of tooth decay can be hard to spot. So, having your child regularly see a family dentist for a thorough check-up helps prevent tooth decay. It also allows for early diagnosis and treatment of problems before they get larger.
Dental emergencies are more common in children than in adults. Sports, sibling play or a fall during outdoor activity are all instances in which accidents can happen. An accident may result in a cracked or chipped tooth, or sometimes even a knocked-out tooth.
Whilst these kinds of accidents are unavoidable, there are preventative measures you can put in place. It’s also important to know how to respond should your child have a tooth knocked out. It can save your child’s tooth.
A custom mouthguard can reduce the risk of trauma to your child’s teeth in the case of a knock or fall during sports. A custom mouthguard can be made specially to fit your child’s teeth and mouth. This gives them the best protection possible against sport-related impact.
In the case that your child has one of their permanent teeth knocked-out, the tooth needs to be put back in the socket as soon as possible. If you don’t feel confident placing the tooth back in the socket, you need to find the tooth and store it in a small container of milk, the child’s own saliva, saline or Hank’s balanced salt solution (often kept by many sporting groups in their first aid kit these days).
You then need to have a dentist see your child as soon as possible. With knocked out teeth, time is of the essence. Your dentist may be able to save your child’s tooth by placing it back in its socket and supporting it with a retainer.
Children rarely have a mouth of perfectly straight permanent teeth, without dental intervention. Slight misalignment is nothing much to worry about. But, severely misaligned teeth usually need treatment. Significant overcrowding or overlapping of your child’s teeth can cause issues with oral hygiene, speech and bite alignment.
Crooked teeth or an overcrowded mouth are common dental issues for children. But they’re also one of the commonly solved dental issues for children. Several orthodontic treatments exist to help straighten your child’s teeth. These treatments can promote confidence and great oral health.
Orthodontic problems can be easier to solve in children and teens than adults. This is because their jawbones are not yet fully developed, making repositioning of teeth an easier task. Having a dentist monitoring your child’s dental development means that, if needed, they can refer your child to a skilled orthodontist for treatment early on.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush
There are is a range of different toothbrushes available, including ones that are specially made for children’s teeth. One of the common dental issues for children is tooth decay and the better they brush the lower the risk of decay. You must use a toothbrush right for their age.
Children can need a lot of encouragement to brush sometimes. Introducing an electric toothbrush can help encourage them to brush their teeth more and make brushing more fun. A novelty manual toothbrush with their favourite character on it can also help. There are also many apps that can help kids time their brushing and reward them for 2 minutes of brushing with games, etc.
For children and teens, our dentists recommend using a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. A small toothbrush head allows you/them to navigate their small mouths and the soft bristles get into the small spaces and grooves in their teeth for a better clean.
Of all the common dental issues for children, fear of the dentist is one of the most overlooked. Dental-related anxieties can affect your child’s oral health in the long-run. Being scared of going to the dentist makes dental visits unpleasant. As a child, going to the dentist isn’t usually a choice. But as an adult, the choice is ours. And a lot of adults choose to let their oral health suffer rather than face their fear of the dentist.
You can reduce or even eliminate dental-related anxiety in children by choosing a family dentist they trust. Choosing a dentist who has the experience and interest in working with children can make a big difference to the way your child perceives going to the dentist now, and later on in life.
Another way of avoiding dental-related anxiety in children is ensuring that you speak positively about the dentist and your own dental experiences in front of your child. As with everything, they learn the most from you, at home. So, if you enjoy going to the dentist because you know it’s a safe place where your teeth are cared for, then chances are, so will your child.
Family Dentist Mona Vale
Our team of dental professionals love working with children. We aim to make every dental visit a positive experience. Our Mona Vale dental practice offers a friendly and relaxed environment in which the whole family can feel comfortable.
We’re big believers in comprehensive, preventative dentistry and we’re passionate about helping you and your family achieve optimal oral health. We recommend that your child sees us at regular and ongoing intervals. This allows us to monitor their oral health and support you through their major dental milestones.
Contact us today to make your child’s dental check-up appointment.