5 Common Oral Problems For Kids

happy siblings brushing teeth

Growing teeth, losing teeth, replacing old teeth with new teeth — everything with kids and their teeth can be complicated! Regardless of the age of your children, there are bound to be some complications. From teething to cavities, losing the first baby tooth to full-blown gum decay, here are some of the most common oral problems for kids (and how we can avoid them!).

1. Reversible Birth Defects

One of the most common ‘birth defects’ with the mouth is what causes parents to invest in lip and tongue ties. In a ‘tie,’ the tongue, lip, and other parts of the mouth are joined. These can be corrected post-birth and usually aren’t too invasive. However, a dentist might be necessary since many doctors won’t see this as a major issue.

2. Child Tooth Decay

Tooth decay runs rampant with children, especially those who eat a lot of sugar and have problems with cavities. With poor diet or improper brushing, plaque acid gradually erodes tooth enamel.

To combat this, you should help your kids brush their teeth until they can hold a toothbrush on their own! For kids to avoid cavities, plaque, bacteria, and food must be removed every day. To fill a tooth, the decay is drilled out, and the hole is filled with composite.

3. Thumb-Sucking

When babies, toddlers, and small children are nervous, they often use their thumbs or pacifiers. Your older children might have trouble with their teeth if they chew their thumbs for a long time. When your child is no longer a toddler, you should discourage this habit! Thumb sucking and pacifier use that goes on for a long time can cause open bites. This is when the top and bottom teeth don’t align properly. And this could also make it hard for your toddler to chew and talk later on.

4. Painful First Tooth Loss

When a child loses his/her first tooth, the excitement of the Tooth Fairy (and growing up in general!) is high. However, not all people have such a joyous experience. . .  for some, losing a tooth can be painful!

Most loose teeth are caused by a permanent tooth coming in under a primary tooth (although some are damaged before falling out). If this is the case (or if you’re not sure but you suspect something) be sure to talk to your dentist.

5. Fear Of The Dentist

Going to the dentist is scary for a lot of people. So, it’s not surprising that kids and teenagers are often afraid of the experience. If your child is afraid of the dentist, it might be hard for them to get regular checkups and cleanings.

Fun, relaxing dental visits help kids overcome dental phobia. It may also be a good idea to choose a pediatric dentist who has worked with anxious kids before. Also, making regular dental visits can normalize dental care, too!

From tongue ties and misalignment due to thumb-sucking, to dental anxiety. . . these are just a few of the common oral problems for kids that require urgent attention earlier rather than later. The sooner you recognize and combat these issues, the better your child’s oral health (and life in general!) will be.

Featured Image Credit: Cotton Bro
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