Making sure your child's teeth are healthy is very important, especially when they are young. It is a time when their teeth are growing in, and complications can lead to long-term dental problems. By understanding 3 common dental problems that a child can suffer from, you can take the necessary steps to prevent them from happening.
Nursing Bottle Mouth
Nursing bottle mouth, also called baby bottle tooth decay, is a problem that can occur in children that are consuming drinks that are sugary, or children that are using a pacifier. Nursing bottle mouth happens when their teeth are exposed to sugars found in sweet drinks, juices, and milk.
Reducing the chance of nursing bottle mouth is fairly simple since you have full control over what your child puts in their mouth. Never dip their pacifier in honey or sugar, it will cause the teeth to be constantly exposed to the substance and cause tooth decay to occur. Never give a child a bottle when they go to bed, since they will constantly suck on the bottle during the night. You should also avoid putting your mouth on anything that your child uses to eat or drink, since it can pass along bacteria to them that will affect their teeth.
Your child may be unconsciously grinding their teeth while they're sleeping, or consciously do it during the day. Teeth grinding can cause their teeth to become weak, which causes them to push out or chip.
Visit your dentist if you notice that they are doing this. It could be caused by existing tooth decay that causes pain, and the grinding motion puts pressure on their teeth that temporarily help it feel better. For nighttime teeth grinding, your dentist can create a custom mouth guard that they can wear overnight to prevent it from happening.
A habit that can develop when a child is young is sucking on their bottom lip, which will cause it to tuck behind their top teeth. It will also put additional force on their top teeth, and cause them to develop an overbite or jaw problem.
Your best method to prevent this from happening is with positive reinforcement. Remind them not to do it if you catch them, use rewards if you notice that they are not doing it, and remove stress sources that could cause the behavior.
For more tips on preventing child dental problems, consult with a dentist, such as Parker Family Dental.