Your child’s oral health is an important aspect of the child’s overall health and well-being. Good oral health allows the child to enjoy eating. It is also important for proper jaw and face formation and in the development of speech. Most importantly, good oral health in children prevents the development of oral issues whose effects can be carried on through adulthood. These are some of the reasons as to why you need to work with a qualified Atlanta dentist in monitoring your child’s oral health. Together, you will be able to detect problems early and ensure that respective treatment is done before it’s too late. Here are some common problems that you can solve with your dentist:
Tooth decay occurs when there is loss of minerals from the tooth. It is caused by bacteria. Tooth decay starts with formation of a dental plaque that covers the tooth. Bacteria in this plaque metabolize the sugars in food to produce acids that demineralize the surface of the tooth. It is hard to detect tooth decay at its early stages because the child doesn’t feel pain and you can’t see any damage with naked eyes. However, your dentist can notice it when performing checkup. At these initial stages, the condition can be treated by applying concentrated fluoride.
If tooth decay is not treated, it spreads into dentine. The child starts feeling pain when eating and a cavity may appear. Treatment at this stage involves placing a dental filling. If the cavity is widespread and the rest of the tooth is weak, a crown may be placed. If treatment is still not done, the decay spreads into the pulp and causes severe pain. The pulp may get infected by the bacteria and become inflamed. Pulp treatment may save the situation but if not successful, then tooth extraction may be the only option left.
Premature tooth loss
Many parents come to Atlanta Smiles and Wellness with the question of whether their child’s loss of baby teeth is following the normal version. We tell them that there’s quite a wide variation of the ages within which baby teeth comes out naturally. However, diseases and injury can cause teeth to come out earlier than normal. If such occurrences happen to your child, then you are dealing with premature teeth loss which has several implications.
Periodontal disease, infection, and inflammation of the gums should be treated early otherwise teeth can loosen from the jaw bone and lead to teeth loss. Accidents can also result into a tooth being knocked out of the jaw or fractures in the mouth that may require treatment. When a child loses a tooth prematurely, there are two options: the tooth can be planted, or a space is inserted into the opening to allow permanent teeth to emerge normally.
Tongue thrust in infants is not a cause for alarm. However, if the habit continues as they baby grows, it may hinder the child’s ability to swallow, speech development and proper facial formation. If your child is of school going age and still faces the problem of tongue thrust, the problem should be addressed the soonest possible. Continued tongue thrusting can push the teeth out of alignment. Your child’s dentist will most likely be the first dental health professional to diagnose the problem. There are many ways that the professional can use to monitor the child’s jaw development as well as the alignment of teeth and your support is required.
Thumb and lip sucking
Infants have a tendency to suck almost anything they come across. It gives them a sense of emotional comfort and security. However, as the child grows past 5 years, this habit can cause dental problems like misalignment of the jaws and teeth, malformation of the roof of the mouth and difficulties developing speech. While there are over-the-counter treatments at drug stores, we insist on finding out how the habit can be broken. Good collaboration with your Atlanta dentist ensures that the child eventually stops the habit and serious consequences like jaw surgery are avoided.
Lip sucking is also a habitual problem that affects oral and perioral tissues. Often, lip sucking is under-diagnosed. It is important, however, to break the habit by introducing psychological interventions. The habit normally starts when mental attention is required or when the child is in a stressful environment. Some children suck their lower lip because of the problem of occlusion. A dentist is in the best position to assess the occlusion and do a diagnosis based on the child’s health history.
Other dental problems like gum disease, though not very common, can affect the health and well-being of your child. One of the most effective ways of preventing the effects of these problems is taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups so that any problem is detected and diagnosed early. The pediatric dentists at Atlanta Smiles and Wellness are dedicated to taking good care of children’s oral health. Your role as a parent is to pay attention to what your child’s teeth are telling you and sharing it with the qualified dental professionals. This way, you rest assured that your children will always have a healthy smile. You can visit their website at www.atlantasmiles.com.