As the needs change for children’s dental health as they grow, so do possible dental issues they may experience. By understanding what these potential problems maybe you are a long way ahead of helping your children what is necessary to prevent them in the first place.
Here are the five most common dental problems seen in children from 5-11 years of age:
￼1. Goodbye Baby Teeth!
The first baby tooth is typically lost at around six years old. Between age 10 and 12, the baby molars are replaced with adult teeth by around the age of 13. When a baby tooth won’t fall out on its own, the pediatric dentist may recommend extracting it. Here is a complete baby teething chart.
2.Toddler Tooth Decay
Although somewhat preventable, tooth decay in children is the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11. Decay can occur in both baby and permanent teeth and is caused by acids wearing away the enamel. A major role in kids’ dental health is diet. It’s important to limit sugary liquids like sodas, juices, and sports drinks.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, using a fluoride mouthwash, and flossing. Sealants are a valuable tool that can prevent tooth decay. A dental sealant usually placed on the surface of the tooth where chewing occurs is a plastic coating that is thin and seals out plaque.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease, or gingivitis, is when the gum tissue becomes inflamed due to poor oral hygiene. The main indicators of gum disease are bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, or bleeding gums. It can lead to tooth loss and bone damage over time. An important part of preventing gingivitis is making sure to regularly scheduled dental visits.
4. Teeth Grinding (AKA Bruxism)
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is common in school-aged children and usually doesn’t require treatment because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment. Most children outgrow it by adolescence. If left unchecked it may cause headaches, tooth and jaw pain, as well as it can wear away teeth. Night guards can protect teeth from grinding. They can be purchased from your dentist.
5. Thumb Sucking
According to the American Dental Association, most children will stop sucking their thumb on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. (https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/thumbsucking) Many of the effects of thumb-sucking can be reversed up to the age of 5 or 6 because kids still have their baby teeth. If thumb sucking continues once the permanent teeth come in, it can lead to many dental problems.
Here at Anchorage Pediatric Dentistry, we pride ourselves on providing the best dental care for your children! We will guide you as you make dental care decisions throughout every stage of your child’s life. Check out our website for more information, or call (907) 562-1003.