Maintaining the overall health of children is essential for their proper growth and development. Oral health plays an essential part in this, and practicing healthy habits since infancy helps prevent complications such as tooth decay and early tooth loss.
Healthy primary teeth are essential for ensuring the future dental health of children. It is recommended to have the child’s first dental visit by the age of one. The dentist can provide information on how to care for teeth efficiently and can detect and rectify any problems early. Dr. Yon Lai in Flushing offers several orthodontic services for children.
Sucking on thumbs is a common habit for infants who might use it to soothe themselves when they are bored, hungry, or tired. However, thumb sucking can be harmful to the development of permanent teeth if continued after the age of four or five. It can also be accompanied by lip sucking. The teeth and jaw might become misaligned, leading to an overbite.
Abnormal positioning of teeth can result in jaw pain and conditions like temporomandibular joint disorders, gum diseases, and the decaying of teeth. Helping the child learn about the ill effects of prolonged thumb sucking through fun ways such as cartoons, using bitter nail polish, finger guards, and rewards are some ways to break this habit.
Nursing Bottle Syndrome
Infants that fall asleep with baby bottles filled with sugary liquids such as juices or milk in their mouths are prone to tooth decay. Bacteria start accumulating due to sugar and remaining food in the mouth, leading to erosion and plaque formation. Lack of treatment results in pain, discomfort, and permanent crooked teeth.
Early signs include white spots and indications of cavities. Ensure that your child does not fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth with any liquid other than water, prevent frequent contact with sugar, and do not dip the pacifier in liquids such as honey.
Genetic factors can lead to the formation of misaligned teeth. Crowded and crooked teeth can cause a crossbite which prevents proper chewing of food. It also results in pain, speech problems, difficulty breathing, and biting of inner cheeks.
Malocclusion can also contribute to problems such as jaw infections and tooth decay and loss since the surfaces of the teeth become difficult to clean effectively.
Orthodontists might use dental appliances such as braces and retainers to correct the positioning of teeth. Following good oral hygiene is recommended, such as brushing twice daily, flossing, using fluoride products, maintaining a healthy diet, and regular dental visits.