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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