Despite strides in overall healthcare for children, oral health continues to lag in many areas. This often-neglected health issue can lead to a host of serious problems if it’s not taken seriously. Here are three little-known oral health concerns in children and what you need to know as a parent to properly diagnose and treat them.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Parents of infants need to be informed about the dangers of baby bottle tooth decay. Also called early childhood caries, this condition occurs when sugars from drinks like fruit juices, milk, and formula sit on the child’s teeth for an extended amount of time. Because bacteria in the mouth feed on these sugars, tooth decay is often a result.
To prevent this condition, be sure to clean the child’s teeth after each feeding thoroughly. Do not ever dip pacifiers or bottle nipples in sugar or honey to make it more palatable for the infant. Paediatricians recommend that children transition from using a bottle to a sippy cup by their first birthday.
This condition presents with creamy white lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks. Invasive cases of thrush can spread to the back of the throat, the roof of the mouth, and gums. Breastfed babies can pass the condition back and forth to their mothers through nursing.
Oral thrush clears up in about two weeks, although it can take longer in some cases. The proliferation of Candida albicans fungi on the lining of the mouth causes this condition, so the probiotics in yoghurt can prove helpful in clearing up the issue. However keep in mind that yoghurt should not be used as a replacement for prescribed medication.
Early Tooth Loss
Although you may think that caring for baby teeth is no big deal, premature tooth loss can come with a host of issues. Children can lose their teeth early for a variety of reasons, including tooth decay, lack of jaw space, and acute injury.
Without these baby teeth acting as placeholders in their proper positions, adult teeth might come in crooked or misaligned. If your child loses a tooth earlier than expected, it is essential to go to the dentist to inquire about space maintainers.
It is critical to remember that the teeth are still there even if you cannot see them. Whether it be baby teeth or adult teeth ready to erupt, it is vital to treat the whole mouth with preventative measures to ensure the best oral health for your child.