For kids, dental problems come in all shapes and sizes. It can be as severe as a decayed tooth or as simple as bad breath, but each problem comes with its own solutions. Here are the top five most common dental problems:
- Tooth decay/cavities
From the time babies get their first tooth, they can get cavities. Putting your baby down with a bottle is the most common cause because the sugars in the milk eat away at your child’s teeth. As they grow older, they’re eating a lot more sugars as well as learning how to take care of their own teeth. But, with the learning process comes mess ups, and those mess ups are called cavities. Everyone has had at least one cavity in their life, and the simple solution is to go to the dentist for a filling. Your dentist will take care of the cavity, but make sure to decrease the amount of sugar your child is eating, and make sure they, or you, brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes.
- Losing teeth
Children should start to lose their teeth around the age of six. Usually, one of the two front teeth are the first to fall out. Children tend to lose their molars from age ten to twelve. A tooth falling out means that the adult tooth is growing in underneath the baby tooth, forcing it out, but sometimes, the baby tooth is restricting other teeth from growing, and the dentist will have to pull it. If your child is experiencing any pain or losing teeth before their time, take them to the dentist. If not, then celebrate with them because now the tooth fairy is coming!
- Sensitive teeth
Sensitive teeth are actually very common among children because their enamel is thinner than adults. Enamel is the covering around the teeth that protects it from cavities and other things. If the enamel is worn down, their gums start to recede and tiny cracks appear on the teeth, exposing nerves. Those exposed nerves can make drinking cold water or drinking hot soup very painful. To fix this problem, dentists can apply a sealant on the teeth that strengthens enamel and fills in any cracks. Other steps you can take would be to buy a softer bristled brush and special toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
- Thumb sucking
Thumb sucking is the most common behavior for children because of the instinctual comfort that comes along with it. When a child is young, thumb sucking isn’t that bad, but if your child doesn’t stop by two to three years old, that can cause issue. If your child is still thumb sucking when their permanent teeth come in, it could cause the teeth to align incorrectly. It could also cause the jaw to move and that could lead to more complications later in life. If thumb sucking continues past age five, children may also develop speech problems. Thumb sucking is something that leads to a lot of complications later in life, but it is simply a habit, and habits can be broken.
- Grinding and/or chipped tooth
Teeth grinding is more commonly associated with higher stress levels in adults, but it is the same with children. Children can experience high stress levels which leads to teeth grinding or it can simply be a response to pain. Teething or an earache are common reasons why a child would start to grind their teeth. The good thing about children grinding their teeth is that it does tend to go away by itself as they grow up. If it doesn’t, talk with your dentist about ways to help. Your dentist will probably make a night guard for your child’s teeth, but there are other solutions as well. You will want to fix this problem as soon as possible because, like thumb sucking, it can lead to multiple adverse complications later on in life.
Most of the dental problems that affect children do eventually tend to wear off as they grow older, but the longer the problems persist, the worse the effects will be. Just make sure that you’re aware of all the dental problems affecting your child and have solutions in place to help as much as you can.