Monday, May 2, 2016

Causes of and Solutions for Common Children’s Dental Problems

Children’s dental concerns encompass a broad spectrum of issues that affect growing and changing smiles, from the way teeth are cleaned to how teeth and bite alignment develop over time. Patients from the age of six months (when they get their first tooth) to pre-teens who are headed into pre-orthodontics or other restorative and corrective dental treatments are considered under the category of children’s dentistry.

With that broad scope, there are a myriad of questions and concerns that parents and patients may have, including the most frequently experienced and treated dental problems for children, which include:

Pediatric Tooth Decay – Cavities can be unfortunately commonplace for young patients, as baby teeth are more less mineralizes than permanent teeth, giving debris and bacteria a place to hide and eventually erode tooth enamel. Children who are given sugary snacks or who fall asleep drinking from bottles of milk or juice are more likely to develop cavities on baby teeth. In these cases, it’s important to restore damaged baby teeth with fillings or crowns, so that permanent teeth are not affected. Healthy baby teeth can be protected against decay with the application of sealants and the use of fluoride at dental visits.

Bite and Teeth Misalignment – While many children’s teeth or bite may be crooked as a result of heredity, certain habits, such as frequent thumb sucking can cause the protrusion of teeth and throw off bite alignment, which is essential for jaw health. In the event that your child’s permanent teeth are not well aligned, pre-orthodontic treatment with simple appliances can be utilized to prevent the progression of serious issues, and can then be treated with more moderate orthodontics later on. If thumb sucking is the culprit, small appliances that make thumb sucking difficult or uncomfortable can be utilized. 

Unhealthy Habits –There are all manner of daily choices than can have an effect on the health of a child’s smile, from nutrition to oral health regimen. It’s recommended that all dental patients, especially children who still have baby teeth, stay away from foods and beverages with added sugars, such as candy, sports drinks, and soda, as these can produce acid that eats away at dental enamel and causes cavities. It’s also important to get in the habit of brushing teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, and flossing between teeth to make sure that all parts of your smile are clean and free of plaque.

Dental Anxiety – While this issue may be overlooked in some, fear of the dentist at a young age is a stumbling block that can make it hard for nervous patients to feel comfortable coming back to a dentist to have their teeth looked after in their later years. Children who are afraid of the dentist should be treated with gentle care and have each procedure explained to ensure they understand what is happening. In other cases, it may be appropriate to use nitrous oxide, a sedation tool that helps patients feel at-ease during their treatment.

At Studio City, our pediatric dental services incorporate care for all of the common oral health issues your child may be experiencing, and we do it all with a gentle touch. For more information about pediatric dentistry in North Hollywood, please contact our pediatric dental specialist today.

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