From early tooth decay and tooth loss to habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and lip sucking, there are a number of problems that affect a child’s oral health. While parents might be tempted to disregard some behaviors, it’s important to understand that the condition of a child’s primary teeth is directly related to the health of their permanent teeth. That’s why pediatric dental care is vital. To better understand, consider the following oral health problems and how they affect your child’s overall health.
When it comes to early childhood cavities, many parents assume that tooth decay is only a threat when children actually have teeth. Consequently, they believe that nursing infants are not at risk. On the contrary, bacteria can cause decay in nursing babies and bottle-fed babies alike. WebMD provides the following example—suppose a breastfed baby falls asleep with milk in its mouth. The bacteria from “pooled” milk feeds on sugars, putting the child at risk for infection, despite the fact that they do not have teeth.
Another oral health problem affecting many children is thumb sucking. First, it’s important for parents to realize that thumb sucking or object sucking is a normal behavior. Yet, when it continues beyond the age of 5, or when a child sucks his/her thumb with great intensity, primary teeth begin to protrude. While thumb sucking can cause an overbite, it also makes it difficult for children to speak clearly and pronounce words.
Similarly, when a child engages in tongue thrusting, the pressure of the tongue against the front teeth and lips can result in an overbite or open bite as teeth are pushed out of alignment. Many children also engage in lip sucking, which results in the same issues associated with tongue thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.
While tooth decay, tongue thrusting and other oral health concerns put primary teeth at risk for infection and misalignments, children may also be at risk for injury or inadequate jaw space. For this reason, pediatric dentists urge parents to schedule their child’s first visit by age one.
We Believe In Quality Dental Care For All Children
At Vital Smiles, we believe that every child deserves quality dental care. That’s why we’ve dedicated our practice to providing affordable and convenient dentistry for children that will contribute to their overall health. If you have concerns about your child’s oral health, or if it’s time to schedule their first appointment, call Vital Smiles today!
Posted on behalf of Vital Smiles