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Children’s Oral Health Red Flags

May 31, 2019

As a parent, there’s nothing more important than your child’s self-esteem and wellbeing. You want them to grow up healthy and happy, but fear that their poor oral health habits could impact that. Motivating your little one to keep up with their mouth is hard to do, but with the help of their dentist, it’s not impossible! Read on to learn about red flags that can lead to poor children’s oral health. Addressing these red flags before it’s too late can keep your child’s smile happy and healthy for years to come!

Baby Teeth That Fall Out Too Early

You may wonder why it matters when their temporary teeth fall out since they’re going to, regardless. Their baby teeth help hold the place where their permeant teeth will grow in. When they fall out too soon, it can cause their adult smile to be crooked and misaligned, which could cause future oral health problems.

Thumb Sucking

While thumb sucking is a natural and healthy way for your child to comfort themselves, if they continue to do it past the age of 5, it could create many problems. Because of the continuous force and suction, this habit could cause them to have an overbite, crooked teeth, or protruding teeth. These problems could cause future speech problems as well, depending on the intensity and regularity of the habit.

Poor Diet

If your child has a sweet tooth, it could have a huge impact on their oral health. When sugar builds up in their mouth, it can cause dental decay and even gum disease. Instead, try substituting fruits and vegetables for snacks. Also, cleaning their teeth after each meal is a great way to clear away lingering harmful bacteria.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Nursing bottle syndrome happens when a baby is constantly consuming milk, formula, juice, or practically any liquid with sugar. When sugar remains on their teeth, it can turn their mouth into a bacterial breeding ground and increases their risk of decay and infection. Children’s dentists recommend substituting a baby bottle of water or a pacifier to give their mouth’s a rest from sugary substances.

Pressing Thier Tongue Against Their Lips

Tongue thrusting, or the act of continuously pressing their tongue against their lips with force, can cause their teeth to protrude. This bad habit can change your child’s ability to swallow and speak, causing long-term issues such as lisps and misaligned teeth.

Family Oral Health History

As a parent, if you suffer from gum disease or other oral problems, your child may have an increased risk of dealing with the same issues. Letting their children’s dentist know of any oral issues that run in your family can help them effectively watch for and treat them.

If you notice any of these red flags, don’t worry! Contact their dentist to discuss whether it’s something to be worried about. They can also offer you recommendations and advice to help break these bad habits. Help your little one maintain great oral health by addressing any harmful habits so you can keep their smile happy and healthy for years to come.

About the Author

Dr. Tera Pollock has been providing dental care to children for over a decade. She enjoys treating children and teenagers and loves having a positive impact on them during their growing years. Having a bright and healthy smile can do wonders for their self-confidence, after all. For any questions, or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit Rowlett Dental Kids’ website or contact 972-203-6924.

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