Problems that Affect Oral Health of Children

Children encounter a number of oral health issues. Even though milk teeth are replaced by permanent teeth, baby’s teeth should be kept healthy as it contributes to child’s overall health. To maintain a good state of oral health, you need to start dental for your kids in their early childhood. In this article, we will discuss the problems that affect the oral health of the children.

Following are the common dental problems that affect the oral health of the child:

Baby bottle tooth decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is also known as nursing bottle caries or early childhood caries. It occurs when the milk teeth of the baby are in frequent contact with sugar from liquids foods such as milk formula, fruit juices or any other sweetened drinks. As small parts of these liquids settle in the mouth for long period, bacteria that causes tooth decay begin to feed on these sugars.

As baby’s teeth serve as a space savers for permanent teeth, the decayed tooth if left untreated can’t guide permanent teeth in their correct position, which results in crooked or crowded (misaligned) teeth. Moreover, severely decayed tooth can lead to abscessed (infectious) tooth that has a possibility of spreading infection to other teeth.

Thumb sucking
Thumb sucking is normal in infants and children up to the age of five years. However, if this continues beyond the age of five years when permanent teeth start to come in, oral problems are likely to occur.

The teeth may be pushed out of alignment that causes them to protrude creating an overbite. This depends on the frequency and duration of sucking the thumb.

Lip sucking
Lip sucking is the repeated holding of lower lip beneath the upper front teeth that results in misaligned teeth. This can cause overbite and problems with the speech.

Tongue thrusting
A common habit in children, tongue thrusting is pushing of tongue in between or against the incisors during swallowing. Tongue thrusting like thumb sucking exerts pressure on the front teeth leading to number of dental abnormalities in children.

Early tooth loss
Early tooth loss can occur because of tooth decay or injury. Premature loss of tooth can lead to permanent teeth emerging to shift, tilt resulting in misaligned teeth. Misaligned teeth can cause number of dental problem in children.

It is advised to have your child first dental visit when his/her first tooth erupts in order to maintain excellent oral health. Remember, starting early is a key for a lifetime good oral health.

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