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LEARNING CORNER

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If you want your little one to grow up into a young adult that’s happy to flash their gorgeous smile, it’s important to pay attention to their dental health today. If pediatric dental issues get neglected, that can leave lasting consequences on their oral health. So, here are a few issues to keep your eye on.

Baby teeth issues

Most kids start losing their baby teeth (usually the front incisors) at the age of 6. Molars are lost somewhat later, between 10 and 12 years of age and replaced with permanent, adult teeth by 13. If you notice your kid is not losing their baby teeth on their own, you might want to see your dentist who will suggest extraction. On the other hand, losing teeth prematurely, before the permanent ones are ready to replace them can cause other issues. The remaining baby teeth can crowd the jaw, block the space intended for the adult teeth and cause orthodontic difficulties in the future.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay (or caries) is a disease that can be easily prevented. Certain types of bacteria that inhabit our mouths can start damaging the teeth and causing them to deteriorate and decay. For instance, kids that eat too many carbohydrate-rich goods like cookies, candy, soft drinks and fruit juices can end up with a deposit on their teeth. This deposit bonds with bacteria in the mouth and forms plaque. In turn, this plaque (when combined with deposits) can result in acids that damage the structure of the teeth and cause decay. However, regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental visits, will help your kid have clean teeth without any signs of decay.

Thumb sucking

Most small kids always tend to have something in their mouths, no matter if it’s a pacifier, thumb or any other object. Usually, kids kick this habit between 2 and 4 years of age, but some tend to stick to thumb sucking until 5 or 6. Most problems develop if this habit continues once the adult teeth come in. Sucking on an object can push the teeth, causing them to create an overbite or underbite which can lead to aesthetic consequences as well as eating and speaking issues. Luckily, braces can solve that problem in most cases and result in aligned teeth, even in young adults and adults. Adult braces are having a huge boom in First World countries, especially Australia. So, if your child or you have unresolved dental issues, you can find an experienced Chatswood orthodontist and get fixed with braces. They even have invisible braces that won’t make your child self-conscious and allow them to maintain their social life without issues.

Gum disease

Gingivitis AKA gum disease is the inflammation that’s caused by poor dental hygiene and plaque buildup. It can lead to bad breath, gum bleeding and tooth loss, especially if left untreated. So, make sure to monitor your child while brushing and flossing and if you notice any blood in the sink or floss, take them to see a dentist. With some light treatment, this issue can be easily solved.

Teeth grinding

Bruxism or teeth grinding is quite common in kids, especially those of school age. Usually, it doesn’t require any treatment and disappears as they grow up, but if it persists, it can cause various problems from tooth and jaw pain, teeth damage and even headaches. Luckily, there are night guards that can protect the teeth from trauma and ensure a better night’s sleep. Pay a visit to your dentist for these devices.

Dental hygiene is one of the most important yet often highly neglected parts of life. The worst thing is that bad oral hygiene in childhood can have lasting consequences. So, make sure to keep an eye on these pediatric issues and ensure your child gets proper dental care if you notice anything unusual.

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