Our children’s dental health is important from the beginning, even while they have their milk teeth. It is common to find children with dental problems that don’t only come from bad positioning, but also from tooth decay and from problems caused to their permanent teeth. There are more and more children that suffer from these problems which are caused by various factors, like poor dental hygiene and the consumption of foods with high sugar levels.
People often make the assumption that it is not important to look after baby teeth as they will eventually be replaced, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Looking after milk teeth will help children’s permanent teeth to grow stronger which means that not looking after baby teeth correctly, may generate problems for their adult teeth that are developing.
The main problems caused by children´s teeth
Sucking their thumbs
Many children have this habit as they are used to sucking a pacifier and when they can’t find one, they suck their thumbs to soothe themselves. If an older child continues to suck on their thumb, it may be caused by anxiety or if something is worrying them. It has been shown that trying to get them off this habit by dipping their thumb in spicy or bitter liquids are not always successful and those spicy liquids can be harmful to them. Sucking on their thumb creates excessive pressures on the roof of their mouths and can cause an effect on the formation of their permanent teeth, making them more likely to need braces as they get older. Pacifiers can also cause these problems although there are types that reduce these issues.
Poor dental hygiene
Poor dental hygiene is one of the principal problems in children. Occasionally, children will only brush their teeth once a day or even twice a day, but it is recommended for children to brush their teeth after every meal. Not brushing teeth often enough will result in sugar being present for longer in the mouth, causing tooth decay and weakness in the teeth and gums. Also, brushing teeth regularly is the best way to prevent tartar and bleeding gums. It is important to choose the right toothpaste and toothbrush for children as toothpaste with high levels of fluorine can deteriorate the enamel and leave marks on their teeth.
An excessive amount of sugar
We have already mentioned the importance of brushing teeth after eating sugary products, but an even better way to reduce tooth decay is to limit the number of sugary products that your children eat. When children are young, inevitably they will ask for sweets, chocolates, and soft drinks and so it is difficult to completely remove these products from their diets. You can, however, teach children to not go overboard with sugary foods as they are unhealthy for them and for their teeth.
Only eating liquidized foods
When children are still babies, it is recommended to give them food that has been blended or liquidized as if they do not have all of their teeth yet, they may have problems chewing and swallowing solid foods. Once they begin to get their first teeth, they must start chewing solid foods as this will help to develop the muscles around their mouths and to ensure strong and healthy teeth and gums.
Not going regularly to the dentist
We always seem to ask ourselves the question of when we should visit the dentist with our children. As we get older, we always seem to reduce these visits to the dentist but in the case of children, it is very important to continue going frequently to the dentist. But… when should I take them? Here are a few important occurrences that require a trip to the dentist:
A broken tooth
When noticing that a child’s bite is not correct
If pain appears
Signs of tooth decay
These are a few of the reasons that will mean you must take your child to the dentist. You now know a few of the main reasons that affect children’s teeth and as we have suggested, it is highly recommendable to organize yearly appointments to the dentist for children above the age of 3 or 4, even if they are not showing any obvious symptoms of poor dental health.