Top 10 Dental Problems commonly seen in children

Dental problems in kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Don't you wish your child's first set of pearly whites could remain just like that? That their cute smiles are never affected by protruding teeth or cavities? Kids, unfortunately, are too young to understand the damages that sticky candies, cola/ juices and lollipops can do to their teeth. So in addition to limiting those evil chewy chocolates, and getting our kids to brush twice a day, it's up to us parents to keep an eye out for these common dental problems that affect children.

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1. Tooth Decay and Cavities: One of the most common reasons for tooth decay in kids is when your kid eats sweets and food items rich in sugar. Germs in the mouth turn the little leftover bits of food to acid which then attacks the tooth enamel. Make sure you limit excessive sugars in their food and avoid fruit juices as well.

Easy Solution: Avoid sweets before sleep. Since saliva secretion reduces during sleep, teeth have less protection at this time.

2. Discolored teeth: When teeth arent brushed correctly, it can lead to it can lead to plaque and result in yellow teeth. Brushing excessively also might cause fluoride overdose that causes streaks on the teeth. Following a regular dental hygiene regime is key.

Easy Solution: A pea sized toothpaste and regular interval brushing will do the trick in keeping teeth sparkling white.

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3. Protruding teeth: Some kids get into the habit of thumb sucking, lip sucking or tongue thrusting. This messes the alignment of the teeth within the mouth. Misalignment may be due to other reasons like heredity as well. Whatever be the reason, an early dental checkup will help you determine the next course of action.

Easy Solution: Discourage thumb sucking if your child is beyond 3 years of age. Rewards, reminders or dental appliances- use whichever suits your child. We, at ZenParent, like Mavala Stop - the bitter taste is really effective!

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4. Gum (Periodontal) disease: Swollen red gums need immediate attention before it turns into bleeding. Bleeding gums may be due to gingivitis, dryness, plaque or injury.

Easy Solution: During this period, avoid soft drinks, candies and snacks like chips since they tend to aggravate the gums further. Instead add fruits and whole grains to your kid’s regular diet.

5. Dental trauma: A problem that may arise when a child gets hurt during playtime.

Easy Solution: In case of injury, place a cold compress on your child's cheek and visit the doc. Continuous bleeding needs to be given instant medical care.

6. Premature tooth loss: Losing baby teeth before reaching 6 years of age is called premature shedding. Tooth decay, weak gums or injury could be the reason. Healthy baby teeth often translate into straight and well-aligned permanent teeth.

Easy Solution:In case of baby tooth loss, consult your dentist if your kid needs a space maintainer. This will ensure space for permanent teeth to emerge in the right manner.

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7. Tooth sensitivity: If your kid lets a shriek when he has hot food or a cold drink, don’t ignore it. His tooth enamel might have weakened and he may be suffering from tooth sensitivity.

Easy Solution: Use a soft toothbrush and special sensitivity toothpaste to ease the pain.

8. Crowded/Crooked permanent teeth: Lack of space for permanent teeth to grow is the main cause for crowded or crooked teeth. For some kids, baby teeth may be in right alignment but permanent teeth may not be so.

Easy Solution: Your dentist is the right person to decide if braces are required or any other simple treatment will do.

9. Bad breath: Even children can have bad breath. And the mostly likely cause is usually poor oral hygiene. But if you feel your kid is having bad breath despite a good brushing routine, check for tonsillitis, sinus or other infections and do visit the dentist without any further delay.

10. Oral thrush: This fungal infection is more common in babies and toddlers. Check out for signs of white lesions in your kid’s tongue or inner cheeks. If treated with the right ointment or solution, you can prevent the infection from spreading to the gums.

Most of the above problems can be avoided if you teach your children the golden rules of dental care:

  • Brush twice everyday (with fluoride toothpaste)
  • Floss daily
  • Meet their friend “The Dentist” regularly (once in 6 months)
  • Chewing sugarless gum (only for kids above 6 years of age) after a meal is a great way to remove food debris stuck in the teeth
  • Use a fluoride-free toothpaste for kids under 2 years. The brushing ritual needs to start as soon as your little one gets his/her first tooth.

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Images: Flickr creative commons, dollarphotoclub.com

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