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The Most Common Oral Health Issues in Children

A number of issues can affect the oral health of children. Even though children’s baby teeth are eventually replaced with an adult set, it is still very important to care for and monitor the oral health of children as it is important to their general well being.

The most common oral health issues in children include:

Tooth Decay:

Paediatric dental disease, also known as childhood tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. Tooth decay can cause pain, infection and even affect your child’s growth. Fortunately, it is a preventable disease. Limiting the consumption of certain foods that can leave sugars on the surface of the teeth such as candy, soft drinks and cookies or brushing the child’s teeth after consumption can prevent tooth decay.

Bottlemouth Syndrome:

This is a special form of tooth decay that occurs in very young children. This syndrome develops due to prolonged exposure to milk or sugary liquids in babies or toddlers. Giving your child a bottle of milk or juice frequently at bedtime puts them at risk of developing Bottlemouth Syndrome. If you notice white marks beginning to appear on your child’s teeth or red or inflamed gums, book an appointment with your dentist who will assess the extent of the problem and suggest treatment options.

Thumb Sucking:

Similar to having a special blanket or toy, many children suck their thumbs as a comfort. In most cases this isn’t cause for concern, as children usually stop sucking their thumbs naturally once they reach an age between two and four. However, if children continue this habit after their first teeth begin to appear, this can affect the alignment of the teeth and jaw. See your dentist for strategies on discouraging your child from this habit.

Grinding (Bruxism):

The grinding of teeth is a common developmental condition occurring in childhood that is often involuntary. Most children tend to stop grinding their teeth as they age, but if they don’t, they can cause wear on their teeth or even crack them. Discuss the issue with your dentist to determine the best treatment.

Over-retained primary (baby) teeth:

If a child’s permanent tooth begins erupting in the same space as their primary tooth that has not fallen out yet, it is important to address this issue as soon as possible. Your dentist will need to remove the primary tooth otherwise the permanent tooth can impact.

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