Want to ensure your child maintains a clean, healthy smile? This remains a top concern for many parents. As such, most parents will try to do everything they can to prevent their kids from encountering common dental problems.
Dental education is important, particularly for parents. Having the ability to identify the early signs of common dental problems in children empowers a parent to take the necessary steps to minimize such issues.
So what are some of the most common dental problems that your child may encounter? Here are three pediatric dental issues that every parent needs to know about:
- Tooth decay
According to the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, tooth decay ranks as the number one chronic childhood illness. And if left untreated, tooth decay may cause pediatric dental disease that could result in eating and speaking problems.
Tooth decay is preventable, and parents who take their children to the dentist regularly can identify and resolve this issue quickly and effectively. In fact, dentists are happy to help your child avoid tooth decay altogether.
A dentist will clean your child’s teeth and teach him or her about proper brushing and flossing techniques during an appointment. Ultimately, this allows your child to take a proactive approach to preventing tooth decay.
- Thumb sucking
Thumb sucking that continues beyond the age of 5 can be problematic, as this is usually when a kid’s permanent teeth begin to develop.
Thumb sucking may lead to a child’s teeth being pushed out of alignment, creating an overbite. Also, a child’s upper and lower jaws may become misaligned due to thumb sucking, which could result in speech problems.
For infants, thumb sucking is normal and can be a tough habit to break. But parents who offer positive reinforcement may be better equipped to help their children resist the temptation to suck their thumbs.
“Gradually increase the time needed without sucking to achieve the reward. The younger the child, the more frequent the rewards will need to be given,” WebMD recommends. “For children who want to stop, cover the finger or thumb with a Band-Aid as a reminder. Take the thumb or finger out of the mouth after your child falls asleep.”
- Tongue thrusting
Tongue thrusting is common during infancy but may be a sign of an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD) that could impact a child’s ability to speak clearly.
When a tongue thrust occurs, a child’s tongue may move forward during rest or protrude between his or her upper and lower teeth when speaking or swallowing, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) notes. And if a tongue thrust goes unaddressed, a child “may look, speak and swallow differently than other children of the same age,” ASHA points out.
Dentists can diagnose tongue thrusting and other OMDs at an early age. Thus, a dentist will help parents identify and assess OMDs and work with them to develop a treatment plan.
When it comes to pediatric dentistry in San Diego County, The Super Dentists excel.
Our team possesses the expertise and experience to provide your child with best-in-class dental treatments. Furthermore, our first-rate staff of dental professionals performs dental cleanings, X-rays and much more, ensuring your child is fully supported at all times.
To learn more about our pediatric dentistry services, please contact us today at (619) DENTIST.