One of the most exciting times in a parent’s life is when their child gets their first tooth. Once the excitement over and fades, parents need to start thinking about how they will care for their child’s teeth. Even with regular care, however, a child may still develop dental problems. This is a guide for parents that identifies common dental issues children may face and explains what parents can do to address each issue. As with any medical issue, if you have questions about your child’s dental health, you should consult your family dentist.
It is common for your baby to experience pain, irritability, and sleepless nights when getting his or her baby teeth. There are many ways to ease the discomfort associated with teething. Parents can massage their baby’s gums with a clean finger or washcloth. Teething toys or teething rings can also provide relief for your baby as they chew on it. The most important thing to remember is not to give your baby anything that could constitute a choking hazard.
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria begins to eat away at the teeth, leading to cavities. Tooth decay in children is preventable. Never let your child go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup filled with milk or juice. Make sure that your child is brushing every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and an age-appropriate toothpaste. Limiting the intake of sugary foods can reduce the buildup of bacteria in the mouth that leads to tooth decay. Once a child has developed tooth decay, a dentist should address the problem.
Bad breath in children can occur for the same reasons that it occurs for adults, such as eating smelly foods, failing to brush and floss every day, or dry mouth. Your child should practice good oral hygiene and brush their tongue every day to help remove bacteria from the mouth that can lead to bad breath.
Canker sores are small, often painful sores that occur inside the cheeks, under the tongue, or on the gums. Canker sores are not contagious and may be caused by biting your lip or tongue, brushing too hard, or even emotional stress. If you notice that your child has developed a canker sore, you can treat the pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever or a topical oral anesthetic.
Tooth grinding is common in children. It can occur as a natural developmental phase, and most of the time children will outgrow grinding without any intervention. If tooth grinding continues, or if the grinding is causing your child face or jaw discomfort, it is time to see a dentist. In most cases, a dentist will give your child a mouth guard to wear at night that prevents grinding. Klement Family Dental is here to help. We offer office hours six days per week and we do our best to see you quickly in the event of a dental emergency. Call us at 727-498-1959 727-498-1959 to make an appointment.