Dental problems in kids are a common occurrence. These problems are a major concern for parents. This article helps parents understand the most commonly occurring dental problems in kids and how early orthodontic treatment can benefit the children in multiple ways in terms of good oral health.
Common Dental Problems in Kids
- Premature Loss of Baby Teeth
Tooth decay, lack of jaw space and injury are some of the reasons which may lead to premature loss of baby teeth. If the baby teeth are lost prematurely that is before the permanent teeth come in, the nearby teeth can shift or tip. As a result of this, when permanent teeth do emerge into its space, there may be a lack of sufficient room due to which the new teeth may grow crooked. Crooked teeth can cause several other oral problems ranging from difficulty in chewing to serious temporomandibular joint problems. The dentist may recommend a space maintainer, an orthodontic appliance which is made up of plastic or metal that holds open the space left by the missing tooth. This is removed once the permanent teeth begin to erupt.
- Thumb Sucking
It is completely normal for children to suck on their thumb, fingers or pacifiers. A majority of children stop sucking thumb between the ages of 2 to 4. However, if this habit continues beyond the age of 5, it can cause orthodontic problems because by this age their permanent teeth begin to come in. Constant thumb sucking pushes the teeth out of their correct alignment which results in an overbite. The upper and lower jaws may also become misaligned which can result in speech problems.
- Tooth Decay
This is also another common chronic dental health problem seen in children between the ages of 6 to 11. Both baby teeth and permanent teeth are affected by this dental issue. The diet of children plays an important role with regards to this dental health issue. Sugary and chewy liquid and solid foods such as sodas and candies can damage the enamel of teeth – the protective covering on the surface of the teeth. This can further increase the risk of cavities and other oral issues.
- Gum Disease
This dental issue is also known as gingivitis and is basically inflammation of the gum tissue. It is caused by poor oral hygiene and plaque accumulation. The symptoms of gum diseases include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums and a bad taste in mouth. If neglected for long, it can result in tooth loss and even bone damage.
- Teeth Grinding
This is also known as bruxism and is quite common in school going children. If neglected for long, teeth grinding can wear away teeth exposing them to decay and cavities, cause headaches and even tooth and jaw pain. Orthodontic devices such as night guards can help protect the teeth from the effects of grinding.
Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment
- Helps address dental problems like crowding and creates sufficient space for permanent teeth to erupt. The jaw is expanded to make room for teeth to erupt through the gums before the permanent teeth grow.
- Braces rectify the issues of misaligned teeth. When the teeth are shifted to their correct position, it improves the facial symmetry besides correcting the bite and alignment of jaws and teeth.
- Due to insufficient lip coverage in children with protruding teeth, the risk of teeth chipping or falling off during an injury is increased. Teeth straightening braces can also help shift protruding teeth back to their correct position.
- Early orthodontic treatment can reduce the time required for Phase 2 orthodontic treatment. Phase 1 of this treatment decreases the trauma of protruding teeth which allows permanent teeth to erupt in perfect alignment, thus reducing the need for a tooth extraction at a later stage.
The earlier your child gets appropriate orthodontic treatment, the higher are the chances of improving the growth of his or her jaws and facial symmetry. Also, the need for complex oral surgeries is greatly reduced. If your child is experiencing any of the above described dental problems consult an orthodontist at the earliest.
Author Bio: Sharon William’s day job is to handle digital marketing for Koch Orthodontics in Lawrenceville, GA. With a flair for creating compelling content that clears the clutter and connects with the audience in an instant, she writes about dental topics to educate and help her readers. She truly believes that a genuine smile can win a million hearts and talks to her readers about improving their smiles and overall dental health, as well as enhancing their overall lifestyle. In her free time, she likes to organize small meets in her neighborhood where she brings people together to discuss various topics that she writes about.