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Archive for August, 2017

Common Baby Teeth Dental Problems & Treatment Solutions; Early Tooth Loss & More

Smile Reef

There are a few common oral health problems often found in infants and toddlers. Knowing about these common problems and how they occur could be the best remedy to prevent them from developing in your child. Smile Reef will go over the most common oral problems that we see in some of our youngest patients, as well as how they occur, so you can be mindful of your child’s oral development.

Common Dental Problems in Infants

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay – This commonly occurs if the child’s teeth is directly exposed to sugary fluids such as breast milk, milk, juice, soda or any other liquid containing sugar. When the sugar is left inside the child’s mouth, it feeds on some of the bacteria found in the mouth. This enhances tooth decay. If left unattended, the decay can cause pain especially during chewing. Additionally, the decay can cause problems for the permanent teeth such as crowding or crooked teeth as they push through. Another possible outcome of the decay is that it can lead to an abscessed tooth. This infection can spread.
Thumbsucking – Not as much as a surprise, thumbsucking is a well known oral health problem. The sucking of the child’s thumb or other object isn’t a major problem unless they continue to suck past five years of age. The constant sucking of an object causes the forward push or misalignment of the child’s teeth, which can create an overbite. Additionally, the roof of the mouth might even become malformed causing an array or problems, including speech.
Tongue Thrusting – This is a habit where the child seals their mouth during swallowing by pushing or thrusting their tongue against the top lip. As teeth develop the tongue can cause the teeth to misalign and push outwards. Much like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting proves to cause many different oral health problems. This can also cause improper muscle development that creates speech development problems.
Lip Sucking – The repeated holding of the lower lip under the front teeth with some sucking is a condition called lip sucking. This problem or habit needs to be broken or the same problem as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking can occur, such as misaligned teeth, a deformed mouth, and speech development problems.
Early Tooth Loss – If your child lost a tooth or teeth early due to an injury, tooth decay or lack of jaw space, the lost tooth can cause a number of problems. Baby teeth may become separated and create problems for the development of the permanent teeth to emerge correctly. Early tooth loss can even lead to a condition called temporomandibular which is a condition where the joints of the jaws don’t connect correctly and thereby causes chewing problems.

Treatment for Common Baby Teeth Dental Problems

If your child is showing signs of any of these common oral health problems, it’s important to correct these behaviors now. Many of these behaviors are very common and most children do outgrow them. However it is up to the parent to correct these behaviors and make sure they see the pediatric oral doctor as they develop. If you’re concerned about your child’s oral development and the future of their permanent teeth, schedule an appointment with Smile Reef. We examine and care for your child’s oral health during the early years of their life so they can have a beautiful smile and healthy teeth throughout the rest of their life. Contact Smile Reef today.

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What Do Cavities Look Like in Babies & Toddlers? Does Your Child Need Cavity Treatment?

Smile Reef

Most parents will do all they can to keep their children safe and cared for. That means regular visits to the doctor, good healthy meals, education and of course regular visits to the dentist! The first exposure that your child will have with oral hygiene is at home. It should begin well before your child can brush their own teeth. The care provider should do some oral cleaning at home and get them to a pediatric dentist when teeth start to appear. With that being said there are some things that you might be doing that could be causing your child to be at a higher risk for tooth decay and cavities.

Smile Reef Explains Baby Bottle Tooth Decay & How to Prevent it

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Of course your baby needs to have access to hydrating drinks. Mothers will use a bottle to feed their small children and babies but there are some things that you might be doing that could increase the child’s risk for cavities. If you are giving your child sugary drinks in their bottle and allowing them access to it throughout the day the child will have a larger chance of developing cavities. Small children and babies don’t take a sip and go about their day they will suck on the bottle for some time and even allow the drink to stay in their mouth. This amount of sugar will start to stick to their teeth and eventually decay their teeth.
Signs Of Tooth Decay: The signs of tooth decay in an older child or an adult are different than a baby that has baby bottle tooth decay. If you have concerns that your baby has baby bottle tooth decay you can look for small white spots on their gums. They may also appear on their teeth which is a very early sign that tooth decay has commenced. If the decay has gotten worse, the dark brown discolorations will start to appear. The baby may also start to be restless and show signs of not feeling well. They may even have swollen areas on their gums and around their teeth.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Treatment: Infants under the age of 6 months do not need a bottle when they lay down as they get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula. Older children may like the bottle more as a comfort and water is the best option. Any other drink will sit on their gums and teeth until they are awake the next morning. You also will need to take on the role of oral hygiene for the child. They are often too small to hold their toothbrush and do a good job. After the child has had a bottle you want to be sure that you take time to clean their mouth out and remove as much of the acidic and sugary substances that may be left behind.

Dentists for Infants & Older Children

Smile Reef offers pediatric dentistry to help control and treat tooth decay from baby bottles and other causes. Contact us to schedule your next appointment today!

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