Baby bottle tooth decay is seen in almost 60-75% of kids in India. It is mainly caused by frequent contact with milk, carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, pasta, candy, cookies, sugary drinks like soft drinks, vitamin drinks and even fruit juices. Prolonged bottle and night feeding practices increase the chances of acquiring baby bottle tooth decay. Also letting the baby sleep with a bottle in the mouth will worsen the condition. We don’t realize but be it breast milk or formula milk, all have sugar which causes tooth decay. If the decay is left untreated it can lead to infection and pus formation in the teeth which can affect your permanent teeth as well.
One should be watchful that the only drink taken in bed is water.
#2 THUMB SUCKING
Thumb sucking is often associated with a sense of comfort and emotional security. It would be astonishing to know that thumb sucking starts while the baby is in the womb. If the habit continues beyond the age of 3-5 yrs, then that’s the alarming signal. It often affects the growth of the teeth and jaws. Additionally it even affects the speech leading to difficulty in pronunciation.
Your pediatric dentist will guide you on ways to deter the habit by making use of positive reinforcements. If the habit doesn’t stop, your child might need to use habit breakers and braces in future.
#3 OVER-RETAINED MILK TEETH
Typically a milk tooth starts to wiggle and is replaced by it permanent counterpart. But when the milk tooth is not lost and permanent tooth erupts in the same place, it is termed as an over-retained tooth. This can cause the permanent teeth to grow in a crooked fashion.
Its best to bring it to the pediatric dentist’s notice and get them removed if suggested by the dentist.
#4 TEETH GRINDING OR BRUXISM
Many children tend to clench and grind their teeth involuntarily. By and large it is usually associated with an emotional security. It can lead to wear of the teeth, muscular pain and headaches.
A pediatric dentist will guide you with the various interventions required to stop the habit.
It’s not uncommon to find blackish stains in kids teeth. Frequently they are caused by iron or chawanprash. Both of these mix with the saliva and leave behind stains on to your teeth. Also poor brushing leads to formation of a soft sticky film called plaque which results in bad breath.
To get rid of these, schedule a dental visit and get a professional cleaning done. Iron can be given with the help of a dropper directly near the throat opening to avoid contact with the teeth.
#6 CROOKED TEETH
Various habits can lead to development of crooked teeth in growing children. The common problems that would require immediate attention would be forwardly placed teeth, spacing or overlapping between teeth, mouth breathing etc.
Braces have been used since decades to correct teeth alignment but they cannot correct growth of jaws and habits. Hence these problems need to be addressed as early as 6-7 yrs of age by a pediatric dentist to make use of some trainers to align the jaws.
Most of the dental problems can be prevented if reported earlier. To keep your child’s smile healthy, oral care should begin right from infancy. 6 monthly dental visits can help you identify problems at an earlier stage and receive a desirable and profitable dental treatment.
“It’s better to start early than to chase cure.”
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Keywords : common dental problems and solutions, kids teeth problem solution, baby bottle tooth decay in children, thumb sucking habit, stains on teeth from iron, teeth grinding in kids, crooked teeth, trainers
Note : This article was written and published by Dr. Ankita Shah for WorldOfMoms.