Thumb sucking may be cute but it’s not healthy

When it comes to children’s oral care there are a number of common problems that can occur. Fortunately most of these problems are not serious and can be treated rather quickly but as a parent it is important to know about these conditions, how to identify each and what to do when a problem with your child’s teeth happens. You can’t always count on your children to tell you when something is wrong so it helps to know what to look for when it comes to kids and oral care.

Infants will go through an uncomfortable stage known as teething. When the baby teeth start to push their way through the gum line this is known as teething and can be quite uncomfortable. The symptoms of teething are often apparent before the teeth actually come through the gums and include swollen gums, a heightened desire to chew on objects and noticeable irritability. Luckily the pain from teething goes away as soon as the tooth is visible but in the meantime you can try a few remedies to ease the process including providing your baby with a chilled teething ring to soothe their gums, trying a sugar free infant teething gel and cuddling your baby more often.

Young children love sweets and consequently subject their teeth to the dangers of sugar. When consuming drinks and foods high in sugar the bacteria on teeth will turn into acid which attacks the enamel. A child’s enamel is not as strong as an adult’s and if a child eats too much candy or drink too much soda the teeth can start to decay. If decay is left untreated a hole can form below the surface and collapse into a cavity. By taking your child to the dentist for regular check-ups decay and cavities can be spotted early on and treated before it develops into a painful problem.

Another common problem with children and their teeth is pressure put on small teeth through thumb sucking. Many young children resort to sucking on their thumbs for comfort but this act can cause teeth to push forward and this may lead to braces or even having teeth removed. Although it can be a hard habit to break parents are encouraged to be persistent in teaching their kids to stop sucking on their thumbs to avoid dental problems later on. If unsuccessful parents should let their pediatric dentist know so they may explain to a child the dangers that lurk if they don’t stop. Sometimes hearing it from a dentist is enough to get a child to stop thumb sucking.


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