Tooth problems in toddlers are every new parents' worry! It makes you smile when you watch your toddler smiling with her pearly white shiny teeth in all its glory. But, the shine of that little pearl can fade off quickly if not taken proper care.
Today, tooth problems are more common in toddlers than adults. Discomfort caused by tooth problems keep toddlers awake all night. When you notice that your toddler is having tooth pain, you will blame yourself. You may think that you have not taken care of your child’s teeth properly. Somehow, this is true to an extent but the main culprit of your child’s tooth decay is high sugar content food. Careful brushing and proper dental care can do away with most of the tooth problems.
Common toddler tooth problems and remedies
Here is a list of some common tooth problems in toddlers and remedies to prevent the same from taking place:
1. Baby bottle caries
It is hard to digest but your toddler is five times more prone to dental caries, also known as dental cavities than asthma and seven times more than hay fever. Your toddler is usually dependent on breastmilk, formula milk or other sweet liquids. When these milk solids or sugary liquids get trapped in the cervices of his teeth, a tooth decay is likely to happen. These milk solids cause plaque and excess plaque build-up lead to caries. This is the reason why doctors advise parents to avoid bedtime milk as the last drink of the night for your toddler.
Make sure your toddler washes his mouth very well after every drink.
2. Tooth decay
Everything your child eats can lead to tooth decay. Juices, toffies, cookies and other carbohydrate-rich foods can result in cavities. If your toddler eats them frequently, his teeth will get coated with these things. As a result, acid producing bacteria will grow rapidly and exponentially and settle down in the grooves and pits of his teeth leading to the stripping of tooth enamel. To prevent your toddler’s tooth from decay, teach him to have good oral hygiene from the very beginning.
3. Tooth abscess
A tooth abscess is an infection at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and the gum. It is a pimple like swelling that appears due to the untreated bacterial infection of the tooth. You must consult a dentist immediately after noticing any symptoms of a tooth abscess in your child. According to the condition, a root canal is performed to undo the damage caused by an abscess. Make your child rinse his mouth with saline water for immediate relief. To prevent this, get your toddler’s teeth routinely checked and treat decays as soon as the first symptoms are visible.
4. Sensitive tooth
Is any food or drink at an extreme temperature causing pain to your toddler? It means your toddler’s enamel has worn away due to the acidic bacteria releasing plaque. Sensitivity can be treated with desensitizing toothpaste. Get the age-appropriate desensitizing toothpaste for your child.
5. Tooth discoloration
Tooth discoloration is another problem that hinders your toddler’s smile. It means yellowish teeth or brown or flaky white spots on your toddler’s teeth surface. It can appear due to improper brushing or regular intake of iron supplements. Iron supplements give teeth a dark appearance. To prevent this, make your toddler brush his teeth twice a day properly.
6. Over-retained baby tooth
You might have noticed that some children start receiving their permanent teeth much before their primary tooth has fallen out. If your child is also getting his permanent teeth well ahead of time, consult the dentist. He might require a surgery to take out his primary tooth.
Thumb sucking or tongue thrusting are the main cause of malocclusion. It refers to the uneven jaw dimensions, that is, your toddler’s lower jaw front teeth are touching the inside of his upper jaw front teeth. Help your child to get rid of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting to avoid malocclusion.
8. Wisdom tooth
The eruption of wisdom tooth in your toddler leads to severe pain and swelling. His tiny jaws cannot fit the extra tooth at this age. Consult the dentist immediately if he is getting his wisdom tooth.
If your child is grinding his teeth while sleeping, it can wear the enamel and the primary coating of the teeth away. This can lead to tooth decay or sensitivity or pain in his gums. Help your child get rid of grinding his teeth or you can make him wear a night guard while he sleeps at night.
10. Abnormal tooth structure
If your child’s tooth structure is not perfect, get it correct with braces or other dental procedures. Maybe, your toddler is growing supernumerary teeth, that is excess teeth, which delay the growth of permanent teeth or even may disturb the alignment of the rest of the teeth.
11. Mixed dentition stage
Mixing up of discrete dentition stage may lead to misalignment of teeth in your toddler. Take your toddler to a dentist for a routine dental check-up.
12. Tooth trauma
Your toddler can meet up with an accident while playing. His tooth may get chipped or knocked out completely. Try to make your child play safely to prevent such accidents.
13. Crooked teeth
Biting fingernails, sucking on the thumb or even chewing on pencils- all habits acquired during this stage- can lead to crooked teeth. Misalignment or gaps may result in crooked teeth.
14. Early tooth loss
Apart from mixed dentition stage or injury, your toddler may lose his primary teeth due to periodontal disease. It causes inflammation and infection in the gums, which loosens the base of the primary teeth. As a result, the teeth fall out before the permanent teeth are ready to erupt.
15. Other related problems
Your toddler may face other dental problems like gum disease, bad breath, sores, etc. Make sure he brushes and use proper mouthwash to prevent all these common toddler tooth problems.
Just like, you are strict for your toddler’s vaccination schedule, make a tight schedule for his regular dental check-ups. This may prevent any tooth problem from persisting. Cultivate good oral hygiene habits in your toddler early and insist him on washing his mouth thoroughly after meals and you can rest assured that your toddler is well cared for.