As a parent, you most likely want your child to be both happy and healthy. From providing them with constant love and affection to feeding them a well-balanced diet, these tasks will help your child live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough emphasis on their dental health because you believe your child is too young for learning how to brush, floss, and visit the dentist for regular checkups. By understanding your young child can face serious dental issues, you will learn the importance of starting oral hygiene and care early.
Food builds up on the teeth and gums. Removing this residue is essential, since it can lead to stains and the buildup of plaque and tartar. This buildup eats through your tooth enamel, allowing food and bacteria to seep through the tooth, causing cavities and decay.
You may be surprised to know that even young children can develop cavities. As a matter of fact, many children develop cavities as early as two years of age.
Thankfully, cavities are preventable. Brush your child's teeth twice a day using a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Also, make sure they are visiting the pediatric dental specialist for routine cleanings and exams.
In some instances, your child's teeth will erupt in an abnormal manner due to genetics. In other cases, certain habits can cause your child's teeth to erupt improperly. Overbites, underbites, and crossbites often require orthodontic treatment using palatal expanders and braces, even in younger children.
Excessive use of a pacifier or sucking on a bottle for an extended period of time can affect the way your child's teeth erupt. Also, if your child sucks on their thumb or chews on blankets and other toys, they may be preventing the teeth from erupting in a proper manner.
These habits are common techniques children use to soothe themselves, especially when it is time to go to sleep. However, other options can be used. Set up a bedtime routine that includes a bath or shower, warm pajamas, a story, or soft music, which can help your child fall asleep without harming their smile.
Odontophobia is another dental issue that will affect your child's emotional well-being and their underlying oral health. Also known as a fear of the dentist or dental anxiety, this condition can cause a great deal of stress, reducing the dentist's ability to examine and treat your child's smile.
Thankfully, starting regular visits can help prevent odontophobia. Most experts recommend bringing your child to their first appointment at the age of 1 or as soon as their first tooth erupts. By starting this care early, your child will learn its importance, helping ease away any fears they may have of the dentist, dental tools, and different procedures.