If you thought adults are the only ones who have problems with their teeth, you would be wrong! Children, too, have unique dental problems that need to be addressed. In fact, as you may know, children have two sets of teeth…. primary or “milk” teeth and their secondary or permanent teeth.
Both sets of teeth need to be taken care of in different ways by your pediatric orthodontist. Also, both sets of teeth result in different dental problems. So, are your child’s teeth growing correctly and what can you do to ensure that they do? Also, what are the common “teething problems” that children’s experience? And, what precautions need to be taken to ensure good, overall dental health in children? All of that is what we’ll explore in this article…
Development of Teeth in Children
The development of children’s teeth begins when they are in the womb. At about five weeks of gestation, the buds of primary teeth appear in the baby’s jaw. At birth, the baby has 20 primary teeth hidden within the gums. These include 10 teeth in the upper jaw and 10 teeth in the lower jaw.
These teeth are also known as milk teeth, baby teeth or deciduous teeth. As the baby grows older, the “eruption” of teeth breaking through the gum line takes place. This is also called “teething”. Different children have their teeth erupt at different times. For example, one child may begin teething at six months, whereas another will begin teething only after a year.
Each tooth takes about eight days to erupt. This includes four days before and three days after the tooth erupts. Children are often uncomfortable during the teething process. Some ways to make them more comfortable include massaging the gum with clean fingers or a soft, wet cloth, pressure from a cold rusk, and finally, pain-relieving medications if the pain is really severe.
It is important to take care of baby teeth the same way we take care of permanent teeth in children. Good hygiene habits and a healthy diet begun early will prevent dental decay in children. Decayed baby teeth need special care from your pediatric orthodontist. If neglected, decayed baby teeth can result in mouth pain, dental abscess, and problems with the surrounding teeth.
From the age of about six years, baby teeth begin to fall out to make way for permanent teeth. Teeth located in the front of the lower jaw usually fall out first. By about 21 years, all of the permanent teeth are in place, including 16 in the upper jaw and 16 in the lower jaw.
Problems related to teeth in children and their solution
- Tooth decay caused due to the baby bottle: If an infant sleeps with a mouthful of breast milk or formula, he is likely to develop tooth decay. Advanced tooth decay may result in obstruction of permanent teeth, resulting in misaligned teeth. The solution is to not give your baby sugary drinks as a comforter during the daytime. You can give him plain drinking water or a pacifier. Do not offer your baby any sugar more than the recommended amount and check with your pediatrician for your child’s fluoride requirement.
- Thumb sucking: This is more or less a natural process during your child’s growing phase. It is associated with your child’s sense of security and comfort. However, if your child continues to suck her thumb while her permanent teeth are growing, this may result in misaligned teeth, improper speech and an overbite. The solution is to offer a reward for your child every time she does not suck her thumb. Also, find out the cause of thumb sucking. If it is due to stress, anxiety or any other issue, address that immediately.
- Tongue Thrusting: The habit of swallowing food while thrusting the tongue forward is called tongue thrusting. Its effect is similar to thumb sucking and may cause your child’s teeth to protrude out and be misaligned, resulting in improper speech. The solution is to consult your speech pathologist and your pediatric orthodontist for advice.
- Early Tooth Loss: Premature tooth loss in your child can be due to tooth decay, injury, or a lack of adequate space in the jaw. Due to early tooth loss, the tooth adjacent to the lost tooth may shift, leaving very little space for new permanent teeth to erupt, resulting in a crooked tooth. This may cause improper speech, chewing problems, and temporomandibular joint problems. The solution is to consult your pediatric orthodontist at a multispecialty orthodontic clinic to get a space maintainer for your child. This holds the space left open by the lost teeth. Once the permanent tooth is in place, the pediatric orthodontist can remove the space maintainer.
- Grinding: Your child may grind his teeth due to some discomfort in his jaw when his primary teeth start to emerge. If continued for a long time, this may result in erosion of tooth enamel. The solution is to ensure that your child wears a night guard when he sleeps. This will help him overcome this habit.
- Discoloration of teeth due to poor dental hygiene: Your child’s teeth may be discoloured, with yellow or brown patches. This can be due to either an improper brushing pattern, or due to not cleaning the mouth properly after every meal. The solution is to ensure that your child follows a proper brushing regimen to help him get rid of the yellow and brown spots on his teeth.
To ensure that your child is protected from poor dental hygiene and other possible problems, do visit your pediatric orthodontist regularly for the right dental treatments for your child. Pediatric orthodontists can treat common oral problems in children and can advise you as to how to take care of your child’s teeth in the right way.
At Vistadent, we pay a great deal of attention to hygiene and hence, healthy teeth. We also effectively treat patients of all ages, including children. We also keep parents updated with easy, homemade techniques to take care of their child’s teeth.
Vistadent is a patient-friendly orthodontic clinic that offers varied dental treatments with the utmost care and personal interest. So, if you need to consult a pediatric orthodontist for your child’s teeth, look no further than Vistadent!
For more information about your child’s teeth and dental problems, as well as other dental procedures, contact Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, at 040-23388111 or +91 9866572482 or at email@example.com or visit our website at http://vistadent.net/.