Oral health in children is as important as their general health. We are often concerned about our children’s food habits, whether they are healthy enough but we ignore teeth which is such an important aspect of a child’s growth. Teeth aren’t just required to masticate and break food down, but also to maintain face structure, keep jaws aligned and restrict spread of infection to the head. Any damage or disease of the teeth is painful in children, prevents proper growth and alignment and changes structure of the mouth and jaw.
Below are some of the commonest problems with children’s teeth and how you as parents can prevent dental complications and the treatment that comes with them,
1. IMPROPER/ LACK OF ORAL CARE
Brushing teeth doesn’t come to any of us easy. Even as adults, we struggle. Can you imagine the child doing this day in and out. Dental habits have to be imbibed in children since a very young age. Ensure that a routine is maintained, which continues even as a child turns older. This is very important to good teeth and oral care.
2. BOTTLE FEEDING DECAY
Decay due to bottle feeding is one of the commonest dental problems seen in toddlers. Because teeth are in constant contact with sugars of food and drink when babies fall asleep during feeds, caries are frequently seen, leading to tooth pain, falling off and improper growth of permanent teeth
3. THUMB SUCKING
Thumb sucking is a habit that many children indulge in. It quietens them, takes care of gum irritation and acts as a pacifier. If the child continues to suck his thumbs after the age of five years, then there is cause to worry. Permanent teeth that are growing during this phase get displaced or distorted, there may be jaw misalignment and overbites. Speech trouble may also arise
4. TONGUE THRUSTS
Tongue thrusts usually happen when children swallow food or drink by thrusting the tip of their tongue against their lips. This pushes the teeth repeatedly causing teeth to push outwards, causing overbite. Even speech impediments is seen in certain cases.
The above are very common dental problems in little children and toddlers. One way of avoiding them is to visit the paediatric dentist regularly and be cautious of any of these problems. The other way is to stop any habits from catching on permanently.