Although Milk teeth get replaced with permanent teeth, they still play a vital role in the child's oral health. Keeping milk teeth healthy is necessary as they lay the foundation for permanent teeth. This is why Parents should give utmost importance to a child's oral hygiene right from birth. It would help if you took care of many things as a parent from the onset of the very first tooth.
According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) report, more than 500 million kids suffer from dental caries of primary teeth (milk teeth). One of the leading causes of this is parents' ignorance of children's oral health. Parents think that the milk teeth get replaced by permanent teeth and do not have much role to play. However, if you wish to have problem-free permanent teeth, you should start oral care from the very beginning. The baby teeth impact the growth of permanent teeth and overall oral health.
What is kid's dentistry?
Kids dentistry or pediatric dentistry is a branch of dentistry that deals with taking care of children's dental health. Pediatric dentists or Pedodontics are the specialists who diagnose dental problems in infants, children, and teenagers and treat them. They take care of your child's dental health from birth to adolescence.
Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications in early childhood dental caries.
How a child's oral habits affect permanent teeth
The condition of oral health affects the overall well-being of a child. It affects their physical, mental, and emotional health too. Bad oral health can fetch pain with tooth decay, dental caries, and many other problems. That is why every parent must take note of a child's oral habits, improve them, and make it mandatory to see a pediatric dentist for better oral health.
According to a survey, 8 in 10 children in India suffer from oral or dental health problems. The primary oral health issues noticed in children are plaque accumulation, visible caries, gum inflammation, bad breath, gum bleeding, and white spots on teeth. And 70% of children do not brush twice daily. The same survey reveals that 7 out of 10 children did not visit a pedodontist in a year, although 81% suffer from major oral health problems. Let us now look at how a child's oral habits affect their permanent teeth.
Early childhood caries
It is also known as nursing bottle caries as the babies feed on milk or other sweet drinks. When breastfed, infants fall asleep with milk in their mouth, which can also pose a risk for tooth decay or caries. Therefore, when the baby teeth get damaged or decayed, they act as hindrances to the proper positioning of permanent teeth. They can also cause infection in the mouth and crooked permanent teeth.
Early childhood caries (ECC) is a major oral health problem, mainly in socially disadvantaged populations. ECC affects infants and preschool children worldwide.
The prevalence of ECC differs according to the group examined, and a prevalence of up to 85% has been reported for disadvantaged groups. ECC is the presence of one or more decayed, missing, or filled primary teeth in children aged 71 months (5 years) or younger. It begins with white-spot lesions in the upper primary incisors along the margin of the gingiva. If the disease continues, caries can progress, leading to the destruction of the crown. The main risk factors in ECC development can be categorized as microbiological, dietary, and environmental risk factors. Even though it is largely a preventable condition, ECC remains one of the most common childhood diseases.
The major contributing factors the to the high prevalence of ECC are:
Improper feeding practices.
Familial socioeconomic background.
Lack of parental education.
Lack of access to dental care.
Oral health plays an important role in children maintaining oral functions and is required for eating, speech development, and a positive self-image.
Sucking of thumb
Although sucking the thumb, pacifiers, and toys is normal for infants. However, it becomes problematic when they suck their thumb even after five years. It is when permanent teeth begin to appear and can hamper their alignment. The child can also face the upper and lower jaw misaligned or difficulty in pronunciation.
Premature loss of baby's milk tooth
When a baby loses a milk tooth prematurely or early because of tooth decay before the arrival time of permanent teeth, it can cause many problems. The nearby tooth can shift or tilt towards the space and create issues in permanent tooth emergence. The result would be crooked or misaligned teeth. However, if you see a pediatric dentist, you can get timely assistance through his suggested therapy that can hold the open space until the arrival of the permanent tooth.
Use of sippy cups throughout the day
When you allow your kid to use the sipping cup or bottle all day long with milk or different sweetened drinks, they can create oral problems. The saliva in the mouth does not get enough time to cleanse the sugars from the drinks that cause caries or tooth decay. Limit sippy bottles and let your child swish the mouth with water after having any sugary drink to stop tooth decay.
Not giving priority to visiting a pediatric dentist.
Any oral issue of your child can be dealt with when you consult or visit the dentist. The main reason for significant problems crop up is delaying the visit to the dentist. When you pause your visit to a dentist, you invite lifelong dental issues for your child. When you visit your dentist, he assesses your child's teeth, looks for oral problems such as tooth decay, and guides you properly. Regular checkups can ward off all the dental issues your child will face in the future.
Schedule your child's dental appointment with Dr. Kumarswamy's Perio Family Advanced Dentistry, Chembur Mumbai. You can schedule your visit with us and take proper guidance from our pediatric dentist. Whether your child suffers from any oral problem, it is better to have regular checkups. If any dental issue is in the initial stage or about to start, it can be treated in the early stage without your child having to suffer later. If your child does not have any dental problems, we can recommend precautions for potential future issues.
Visit Dr. Kumarswamy's PerioFamily Advanced Dentistry to secure your child's oral health. Our clinic is equipped with the latest tech and a fun environment helping kids settle. Contact us to schedule your child's next dentist appointment today.