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Childhood is a time filled with adventure, exploration and growth. However, these years of discovery are also home to the occasional dental problems . A climb or fall could end in a broken tooth, or a missed spot could result in a cavity.

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Dental problems in children  are the same ones that affect adults. Untreated dental conditions can cause poor and misaligned tooth development, leading to more serious problems as a child grows up.

Understanding common dental problems in children and why they happen will help you and your child know how to prevent them. Some of the problems include 

  • tooth decay or cavities
  • tooth breakage or dental emergencies
  • tooth sensitivity
  • baby teeth loss
  • mouth ulcers
  • oral habits and orthodontic problems
  • bad breath
  • dental anxiety and phobias

In this article,the most common and chronic diseases shall be discussed .

DENTAL DECAY

Cavities is also known as caries or tooth decay.

It is the most chronic and common disease in childhood.

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Many parents think that cavities in baby teeth don’t matter, because they’ll be lost anyway. But that’s not true. Dental decay in baby teeth can affect permanent teeth and lead to future dental problems. It can affect the normal day to day life activities such as eating, speaking, playing and learning.

But the good news is that cavities are preventable.

As a parent, you can establish a good dental habit for your family.

The child may be an enthusiastic participant, he won’t yet have the control or concentration to brush his teeth all by himself. You’ll need to supervise and help him so that the brush removes all the plaque—the soft, sticky, bacteria- containing deposits that accumulate on the teeth, causing tooth decay. Also, keep an eye out for areas of brown or white spots which might be signs of early decay.

For babies, wipe gums twice a day with a soft clean cloth in the morning after the first feeding and right before bed to wipe away all the bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.wipe.jpg

When teeth come in, start brushing twice a day with a soft, small-bristled toothbrush and plain water. 

At age 3, you can start using a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste, which helps prevent cavities. If your child doesn’t like the taste of the toothpaste, try another flavour. Also try to teach your child not to swallow it, although at this age they are often still too young to learn to rinse and spit. brush.jpg

The Brushing Motion direction really doesn’t matter. What’s important is to clean each tooth thoroughly, top and bottom, inside and out. This is where you’ll encounter resistance from your child, who probably will concentrate on only the front teeth that he can see. It may help to turn it into a game of “find the hidden teeth.” So be sure to supervise or do the actual brushing if necessary till the age of 8 years.

The child’s diet will play a key role in his dental health. And, of course, sugar is the big villain. The longer and more frequently his teeth are exposed to high sugar levels the chances of decay are high.

 Make sure to always brush your child’s teeth after a sugary food item. 

In addition, do not allow your child to have any sugar-containing liquid in a sippy cup for a prolonged period. 

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Visiting the dentist is an important part of establishing good oral hygiene habits so that your child will have healthy teeth.

Plan to take your child to the dentist by the time they are 12 months old or within six months of when their first tooth comes in. The main purpose of the first visit is to get your child comfortable with the dentist. 

A dentist may examine your child’s teeth, jaws, bite, and gums to check for healthy growth and development. Then, the dentist will talk to you about the best way to take care of your child’s teeth, including brushing and flossing. 

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Dr Preethi Susan Prasad MDS