toddler at dentist office for check up of common pediatric dental issuesPediatric dental issues are common problems that are preventable and treatable when equipped with the right knowledge, proper dental habits and regular check ups.

According to healthcare experts, “dental caries is the most common chronic disease in children” and “it is about five times as common as asthma and seven times as common as hay fever.” The Canadian Dental Association confirms that Canadians, including those living in Ottawa, “had an estimated 2.26 million school-days missed each year due to dental-related illness; tooth decay accounts for one-third of all day surgeries performed on children between the ages of 1 and 5.” 

Some parents believe that baby teeth aren’t important since they’re temporary.  This belief may very well be the mindset that has caused the statistics mentioned above. Knowing what pediatric dental issues your child is susceptible to, and what you can do about it, will help you ensure that your child doesn’t become part of the statistics. As dentists performing pediatric dentistry in Ottawa, we can help inform (what this post is about) and treat your kids.

Toddler Occlusion (Bite) Problems

Your toddler’s teeth issues could be due to the manner in which the top arch fits with the bottom arch.  In a normal adult mouth, the top teeth sit in front of the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed. However, toddler occlusion (bite) problems can occur when the top jaw grows faster than the lower, causing an overbite issue or vice versa.  If you notice a bite issue and your child has permanent teeth coming in, you should take them to the dentist for a consultation to see what needs to be done. 

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (and How to Prevent It)

Prolonged exposure to non-water beverages is a big culprit for teeth problems in children. One of the most common factors in infants and toddlers is tooth decay caused by milk or juice in a baby bottle. This condition is known as baby bottle tooth decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay can be avoided by refraining from putting them to sleep with a bottle filled with milk or juice, or using a bottle as a soothing technique in place of a pacifier. If your baby wants a night time bottle, make sure that they finish it before falling asleep (and never put sugary drinks in it, like juice or soda).  Also, make sure to brush your child’s teeth with toothpaste before going to sleep.  

Thumb Sucking Risks & How to Wean Your Child

Thumb Sucking

Sucking on a pacifier, or thumb sucking can alter the formation of your child’s mouth, including an altered palate shape, front teeth that protrude and are spaced apart.  In addition to teeth alignment issues, your child’s speech may be impaired or altered. It is wise to try to stop the habit as soon as possible, especially prior to adult teeth erupting (approximately age 6).

Talk to your child about thumb sucking and use positive reinforcement when they comply.

Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting keeps babies from choking or aspirating food, as well as helping them latch onto a nipple.  If the tongue thrusting continues beyond infancy, tooth alignment problems may start to occur, as well as speech development issues, so speak with your dentist if you are concerned. 

Early Tooth Loss

One of the important roles of primary teeth is to hold the place for permanent teeth.  Various children’s teeth problems can lead to early tooth loss, which comes with its own set of issues.  When a tooth is extracted, the natural teeth that surround the area may drift into the space created by the lost tooth.  If this occurs the permanent tooth may not have enough room to erupt normally or may get stuck in the bone.

Bad Breath

Other dental problems in children that we see are gum disease in toddlers.  One of the biggest signs that your little one is having gum issues is persistent bad breath.  Gum disease and bad breath in toddlers can be treated by regularly scheduling dental cleanings and twice daily brushing at home with daily flossing.

Bruxism: Tooth Grinding

Bruxism, also known as tooth grinding, is quite common in children.  It’s likely something that your child does in their sleep, or when they’re stressed out. Most often this issue is outgrown, but if it continues once your child starts getting their permanent teeth, you’ll want to consult your dentist.

Canker Sores

A canker sore also known as an Apthous Ulcer. They mostly form on or under the tongue, inside the cheeks, and inside of the lips. Canker sores go away on their own in about 1-2 weeks. To help your child through the process you can give them a pain reliever and have them rinse with warm saltwater several times a day.

Dental Care for Children

When your child is ready to see a dentist, Parkdale Dental Centre offers dental care for children and gladly accepts new patients of all ages. We look forward to building a wonderful relationship with your family! Call today to schedule a new patient exam.